Midwestern Large-Scale Renewable Electricity

Institutions across the Midwest are looking for ways to lower energy procurement costs while achieving renewable energy procurement goals but are challenged to meet these goals due to cost and complexity.

MHEC is regularly asked about possible energy initiative opportunities, particularly in the sustainable energy context. As a result, MHEC convened an advisory committee of college sustainability officers to assess the need and viability of a regional initiative in sustainable energy.  After a series of meetings, the advisory committee proposed numerous sustainability initiative ideas, and unanimously prioritized undertaking a cooperative procurement program for renewable energy.  

Many campuses have longstanding commitments to energy and sustainability goals. Furthermore, third-party forecasts predict long-term rising energy costs. As “forever” institutions, colleges and universities are positioned to take a long-term perspective on energy costs. Conversely, the market for large-scale renewable energy procurement is relatively new, complex, and opaque. The advisory committee proposed a cooperative purchasing program designed to assist Midwestern campuses in the pursuit of large-scale renewable energy solutions that reduce energy price risk and control long-term energy costs through power purchase agreements (PPAs). PPAs from renewable energy projects offer fixed cost electricity over the long term, providing a cost-effective strategy for achieving sustainability goals while controlling energy costs and reducing energy price risk.

What is your campus doing to address sustainability?

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) is working with Second Nature, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and a group of higher education institutions on an initiative to enable institutions to join together in large-scale renewable electricity purchasing to achieve these economic and environmental goals.

Environmental Sustainability Committee
Aaron Durnbaugh Loyola University Chicago Illinois
Michael Gulich Purdue University Indiana
Suzanne Hansen Macalester College Minnesota
Erin Hazen University of Iowa Iowa
Julie Hopwood Ball State University Indiana
Jeremy King Denison University Ohio
Cynthia Klein-Banai University of Illinois at Chicago Illinois
Kate Nelson University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wisconsin
Stephenie Presseller Moraine Valley Community College Illinois
Raghu Raghavan University of Missouri - Columbia Missouri
Jeff Severin University of Kansas Main Campus Kansas
Prabhakar Shrestha University of Nebraska - Lincoln Nebraska
Shane Stennes University of Minnesota Minnesota
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Jennifer Dahlquist

Vice President