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LC goes green with Renewable Energy Fee

By EMILY DEWEY

The Renewable Energy Fee Fund at Lewis & Clark, paid for by a fraction of the tuition of most College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) students each year, has been used to buy Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) for the school since fall of 2003.

An average of about 80% of undergraduates pay the Renewable Energy Fee, so 100% of LC’s power comes from renewable sources.These certificates present as non-tangible credits that allow the owner, in this case the college, to claim their purchase of the renewable energy.

This year, the college has a surplus after buying the certificates. This is due to several factors, including the recent establishment of a competitive bid process among providers of REC, lower REC prices in the market, higher enrollment of CAS students within the program and a reduction in the school’s use of electricity. The surplus has been returned to the fund, which is available to fund CAS students that wish to apply.

With over $250,000 accumulated over the past few years, the surplus is used to fund student projects.

“We’re really looking for big student projects that are oriented around renewable energy specifically,” Renewable Energy Fee Committee member Nathaniel Hamlett said.

“It is very important for us that students know about this great opportunity,” Marlon Jimenez, an intern for the committee, said. “We have funded things such as internships, alternative spring trips and student-led research overseas.”

To apply, students must create a budget and timeline that describes in detail how they wish to spend the funds. Then, applications will be reviewed by the student committee. Application forms can be found online on LC’s sustainability website, and are due on Oct. 30 and/or Dec. 4 of this year. As students put together their applications, they are also encouraged by Oviedo to meet for consultation about their ideas. He can be contacted at marlonj@lclark.edu.

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