Mount Wachusett Community College recognized For Climate Support
Recognized under the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability series
April 4, 2012 — Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner, MA, has been recognized by the ACUPCC during Earth Day month for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability.
MWCC is being highlighted for its outstanding work in successfully integrating wind power into its energy portfolio over the past year. Mount Wachusett’s program has been so successful since installing two 1.65 MW turbines in March 2011 that the college is now producing 100 percent of its own electricity while also returning energy back to the grid.
The turbines, which generate 5 million kWh annually, are the latest component in Mount Wachusett’s commitment to sustainability. With biomass heating and solar technologies incorporated into the mix, MWCC is generating nearly all of its energy needs on-site and is nearing carbon neutrality for operations.
The college also has reduced annual electrical consumption from 9 million kWh to 5 million kWh through energy conservation measures, all while the school continued to expand. Mount Wachusett has further reduced its carbon footprint by moving to a four-day class schedule and increasing online course offerings.
Sustainability practices are incorporated into academic programs. The student sustainability club, The Green Society, also has been instrumental in a number of campus green initiatives, including an organic community garden, single stream recycling, composting, and refillable water stations.
Mount Wachusett’s achievements were cited as part of the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability series, which identifies signatories that exemplify the initiative’s mission to re-stabilize the earth’s climate through education, research and community engagement. Celebrating Sustainability is formally recognizing a different institution every business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd.
“Mount Wachusett is an example to every college and university in the country as to what can be accomplished by integrating sustainable practices into campus operations,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC. “They have harnessed the wind to the benefits of their community, environment and their bottom-line.”
“The wind energy project is the crowning achievement in our drive to integrate sustainable practices,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “The turbines have become a source of pride and a symbol of progress for the college and it is wonderful that the ACUPCC recognized our efforts on this front.”
About Mount Wachusett Community College
Founded in 1963, MWCC is an accredited, public two-year institution serving 29 cities and towns in North Central Massachusetts. The 269-acre main campus is located in Gardner, Massachusetts with satellite campuses in Devens, Leominster and Fitchburg. The college offers more than 45 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as training for business and industry and noncredit community service programs.