Campus & Community

Harvard to become largest institutional buyer of wind power in New England

3 min read

University will buy power and renewable energy certificates from First Wind’s planned project in Maine

Harvard University announced today (Nov. 2) that more than 10 percent of the electricity consumed on its Cambridge and Allston campuses soon will be supplied from a wind farm in northern Maine. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this agreement will make Harvard the largest purchaser of wind power by a university or college in New England.

Last year, Harvard’s Cambridge and Allston campuses used more than 247,000,000 kWh.

Under the agreement reached with First Wind, a Massachusetts-based company, Harvard will purchase half of the power generated by the planned Stetson Wind II facility near Danforth, Maine, as well as the associated renewable energy certificates. First Wind will begin building the facility immediately, and is expected to start generating clean, renewable power by mid-2010.

“Universities play an essential role in confronting the global challenges presented by climate change and sustainability,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “The research being undertaken at Harvard will have worldwide influence, but the Harvard community is also committed to searching for ways to reduce its environmental impact through changes in individual and institutional behavior, like purchasing wind power and other renewable energy, and the use of innovative technologies.”

“The 15-year agreement enables the development of this clean energy resource and the subsequent lowering of the greenhouse gas intensity of the New England electric grid,” said Mary Smith, Harvard’s manager of energy supply & utility administration.

Over the past few months, Harvard has announced several renewable-energy projects, including installing a 500 kW solar panel array on one of its buildings. The First Wind agreement represents another step in Harvard’s growing effort to reduce its environmental impact.

Electricity from Stetson Wind II will be generated by 17 General Electric, 1.5 MW turbines. This project follows Stetson Wind I, a 38-turbine, 57 MW-facility that went on line in January.

“We are pleased to support Harvard’s effort to minimize their environmental impact by purchasing clean, renewable energy,” said Kurt Adams, First Wind’s executive vice president and chief development officer. “This is a great example of how organizations can exhibit environmental stewardship.”

About Harvard Sustainability
Across Harvard’s campus, new renewable energy projects — combined with the expanded use of green power, waste reduction and recycling efforts, and significant reductions in the use of single-occupant vehicles — are lessening the University’s overall environmental impact. With 64 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified or registered buildings and projects, Harvard is a national leader in college and university green building.

About First Wind
First Wind is an independent North American wind energy company focused exclusively on the development, ownership, and operation of wind energy projects. First Wind is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit


For more information contact:

Harvard University
Joshua Poupore
Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

First Wind
John Lamontagne
Director, Communications