Dallas College switches to renewable energy plan

Image courtesy of Dallas College
By HARRIET RAMOS

@HarrietRamosETC

Dallas College has moved to a renewable energy plan through Gexa Energy that is expected to save $750,000 annually.

The five-year contract went into effect June 1.

“These initiatives protect the environment, promote equity and improve the economy,” Georgeann Moss, Dallas College’s executive administrator of sustainability, said in a press release. “It is our social responsibility to ensure that future generations have the same or better quality of life as what we now enjoy. This purchase is a big step toward achieving that goal.”

The plan is based on renewable energy certificates purchased by Dallas College, according to board member Cliff Boyd.

The certificates allow the college to support the renewable energy market without having to supply the electricity themselves through solar panels or wind turbines.

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Boyd said the electricity delivered to the facilities will come from the grid and include a hybrid of renewable and non-renewable sources, but the certificates guarantee that Gexa will purchase or invest in renewable energy equal to the amount of the Dallas College contract.

“The risk is all on Gexa and not on us,” Boyd said at the May 4 board meeting.

The contract was unanimously approved at the May 4 meeting. Boyd said the contract has a fixed rate which will allow the college to avoid the wildly fluctuating rates some consumers faced after February’s winter storm.

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“It’s on Gexa to be able to deliver,” Boyd said. “Our bill won’t fluctuate.”

Chancellor Joe May said at the meeting that the plan meets both the economic and sustainability goals of the college.

“We must be a community leader both in operations and in academic programs as relates to sustainability,” May said. “At the same time, we have to be aware of our fiscal responsibility and stewardship in these areas. So what I believe the committee has done and the group has done on this one is a great balance of keeping all of these in perspective.”

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