Harvard University recently became the first university to join a group of corporate climate leaders, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Walmart, that are working together to unlock the enormous opportunity for renewable energy to meet aggressive emissions reduction goals.

Harvard’s membership in the Business Renewables Center (BRC) will give it access to the latest guidance and lessons learned from purchasers of large-scale, off-site renewable energy projects. The BRC was created by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to help corporations address the complexity of utility-scale wind and solar energy deals. RMI is a well respected and leading independent non-profit dedicated to advancing market-based solutions to cost-effectively shift to efficiency and renewables.

“The Business Renewables Center is pleased to welcome Harvard as its newest member and an important early mover in renewable energy procurement by higher education institutions,” said Lily Donge, Principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute. “Harvard now joins the ranks of top business leaders educating the market on renewable energy.”

Harvard was an early adopter of renewable and alternative energy, testing out institutional geothermal, rooftop solar thermal and small-scale wind on its dense, urban campus. In 2009, the University entered into a long-term agreement for 12 megawatts of wind power from the Stetson II wind project in Maine, making Harvard the largest purchaser of wind power by a college or university in New England at that time. Harvard has also advanced research and discussion on these issues through its role on the Boston Green Ribbon Commission.

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