MC makes the switch to Green Power Switch®

College one of first large block sign-ups in Maryville

July 15, 2003
Contact: Karen Eldridge, MC Office of Communications,
Pam Arnett, City of Maryville Public Information Office

Maryville College has become a participant in Green Power Switch® by agreeing to purchase 45 blocks of green power for three buildings on their campus. Green Power Switch, offered by the City of Maryville Electric Department and TVA, is a renewable energy program that allows consumers to purchase electricity generated from clean sources, such as solar, wind and methane gas power, for their homes and businesses.

“We are very pleased with the participation thus far in the Green Power Program that Maryville Electric implemented this past spring,” stated Maryville Electric Director Baron Swafford. “Maryville College was one of our first large block sign-ups and we congratulate them on their enthusiasm and the great example they are setting for their students.”

Green Power Switch is sold to consumers in 150-kilowatt-hour blocks at a cost of $4 per block. Business and industrial customers buy blocks based on the amount of energy they use. Residential consumers can also buy as many blocks as they like with each block totaling about 12 percent of a typical household’s monthly energy use.

According to TVA Green Power Switch Program Manager Gary Harris, Maryville College is the second higher education institution in the Tennessee Valley to participate in the program.

“ The College’s proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains makes its participation very significant,” Harris said. “Clearly, they are committed to ensuring that their campus is a beautiful place for students to study and live, both now and in the future.”

The three buildings participating in the Green Power program are Crawford House, Fayerweather Hall and the Center for Campus Ministry (CCM). Every building, either through recent construction, restoration or renovation, features energy-efficient and environmentally friendly elements.

The MC Window of Opportunity strategic plan, adopted by the College’s Board of Directors in 2001, calls for the College campus to be a “model of environmental stewardship” by 2007.

Dr. Mark O’Gorman, associate professor of political science and environmental studies and chairperson of the College’s Environment and Forestry Advisory Committee (EFAC) said the College’s participation in the Green Power Switch is more visible proof of the College’s commitment to living out its institutional environmental ethic.

“ Maryville College students are very aware that citizens need to become better stewards of the planet,” O’Gorman said. “From classes on ethics and the environment taken from the freshman through senior year, environmental-related courses and majors in a number of disciplines, and a variety of eco-related service and ministry projects, our students and campus community commit themselves to helping the environment.

“ Having the College commit three buildings to the Green Power Switch, including the CCM – our geographical and spiritual center – demonstrates that the College ‘walks its talk’ when it comes to the environment,” he added.

Officials at the College have asked GPS and City of Maryville Electric Department personnel to participate in a back-to-campus event this fall that will educate students about GPS and other renewable energy sources.

Green Power comes from 15 solar sites throughout the TVA service area, one wind park in east Tennessee and from methane gas at the Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis. Thus far, approximately 6,900 residential customers and 341 business customers are purchasing more than 22,400 blocks of green power from the 63 participating local power companies.

Those interested in finding out more about Green Power Switch can visit www.ci.maryville.tn.us or www.greenpowerswitch.com.