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CU students vote for wind

By a five to one margin, students at the University of Colorado voted to raise student fees to buy the output of an entire wind turbine to power three campus buildings. The electricity will be generated from Public Service Company of Colorado's (PSCo) Ponnequin wind farm. The increase of $1 per semester per student for four years is expected to raise $50,000 a year -- enough to buy about 2 million kWh, or the average output of a 750 kW wind turbine. The commitment is the largest wind purchase by a retail customer in Colorado, edging out the New Belgium Brewery. "No other university has ever done this," says Rudd Mayer of the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, a non-profit group that markets PSCo's WindSource power. "It was a huge week-long campaign, but in the end many students I talked to, who had never voted before on campus, felt that wind power was something they could support." To pass any kind of measure, at least 15% of students had to turn out for the vote, and campaigning by a student interest group and LAW Fund encouraged a 29% turnout.

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