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The Choctaw Nation to use Wind Power

Chief Pyle signs a wind power contract with OG&E

The Choctaw Nation will be moving to 100 percent wind power for all of it’s office buildings in Durant starting later this year. They signed a contract with Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) last year agreeing to spend $15,000 more each year to purchase wind power credits. Assistant Chief Gary Batton said of the increased cost, “We’re investing in the protection of our future and our resources and that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.”

Currently OG&E gets most of it’s energy from coal power plants, which are responsible for about one-quarter of the worlds total carbon dioxide emissions. However, with the addition of two wind farms in northwestern Oklahoma OG&E is able to offer wind credits to consumers. With these credits OG&E customers can help support wind power in Oklahoma. OG&E and the Choctaw Nation estimate their purchase of wind power credits will help offset 1,080 tons of c02 emissions annually.

The Choctaw Nation’s commitment to environment doesn’t stop with switching to wind power. They are also reducing their energy needs by doing things like using more energy efficient lighting, reducing the amount of lighting and new energy efficient windows at the Administration Building in Durant.

“I see recycle bins in our offices, our community centers and our businesses. I also see a very important change in everyone’s day-to-day habits. They are becoming conscientious not only at work but also at home. Every effort, no matter how small, will make a difference,” says Chief Pyle about the changes he is seeing in the Choctaw Nation employees.

The Choctaw Nation is making a real commitment to helping the environment. You can find out more about the changes they are making on the Choctaw Nation’s website.

Photo Credit: Choctaw Nation

Sooners Going Green

The University of Oklahoma (OU) has been working to make the campus greener and it’s paying off. OU has seen a 13% reduction in waste in fiscal year 2009. They recycled 932.55 tons, which was a 20% increase of recycled goods from fiscal year 2008.

OU is doing more than just recycling, they have much bigger projects as well. One of their larger projects is a green roof on the National Weather Center’s sixth-floor outdoor classroom. The project comprises of 1,280 square feet of space and 160 planted green roof trays. These trays are made of lightweight sand, clay, and organic material, this mix is about a third of the weight of regular topsoil. The project will remain on the Nation Weather Center roof for up to three years and then will be moved to a permanent location.

Another large project for OU is their switch to wind power. They signed an agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (OG&E) to purchase 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2013. OG&E has been working on a new 101 megawatt wind farm that is called ‘OU Spirit.’ It will feature 44 turbines and produce enough power for around 25,000 homes.

OU is also working on many other smaller, but just as important, projects to help the school on it’s way to being more eco-friendly. Just a few of these great projects include, use of natural citrus acid bathroom cleaners, dye, fragrance and phosphate free glass cleaner, and other more natural cleaners.

They are also reducing energy with things like occupancy sensors for office lighting and motion sensors for vending machines. And in the restaurants you will find things like organic fair-trade coffee, locally produced cheese, local produce, and organic beef.

OU is helping lead the way in greener universities and is something for Oklahomans to be proud of. You can learn more about OU’s green projects on their website Crimson and Green.