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Evanston, Illinois to Offset 20% of City's Electricity Usage with Wind Power Credits

Constellation Energy today announced that its subsidiary, Constellation NewEnergy, has entered into a green electricity purchase agreement with the city of Evanston, Illinois.

As part of the agreement, Constellation NewEnergy will secure approximately 5.5 million kilowatt-hours of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 20 percent of the city's electricity usage. The secured RECs will help the city of Evanston replace the carbon emissions produced during the combustion of fossil fuels with clean, renewable wind generation. For example, one certified REC has the environmental impact of eliminating the emissions associated with one megawatt-hour of electricity produced by a fossil fuel generator.

Constellation NewEnergy will serve the city's combined peak demand load of approximately 4,000 kilowatts (19 million kilowatt-hours annually), which is required to power several high-profile municipal facilities, including the Robert Crown Ice Arena, Evanston Art and Cultural Centers, the Ecology Center, the municipal water pumps and the city's parks and recreational facilities.

"The city of Evanston is committed to pursuing environmentally friendly solutions that help us become a more energy-efficient city and a greener community. Our decision to offset 20 percent of our energy demands from clean wind generation will play a significant role in helping us meet this goal," said Mayor Lorraine H. Morton of the city of Evanston. "We are pleased to work with Constellation NewEnergy to find energy solutions to meet our needs and share in our commitment to renewable power generation."

The city of Evanston's decision to purchase RECs is another step in the city's ongoing efforts to pursue environmentally friendly solutions. In 2005, the city was promoted to Silver Status by Clean Air Counts, a Northeastern Illinois regional initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Evanston has also taken steps to replace city traffic lights with energy efficient bulbs, and power city vehicles with cleaner burning bio-diesel fuel.

Based on a national average utility emissions rate, diversifying the city's electricity supplies with alternative fuel sources will keep more than 7.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere every year. That amount is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions produced by 300 passenger cars and is the same amount of electricity needed to power more than 500 average American homes annually.

"As a leading supplier of competitive energy, we are pleased to provide cities and towns such as Evanston with the benefits of power agreements that not only help establish budget certainty, but also deliver an effective and efficient means to purchase green power," said Julie Hextell, vice president and business leader for Constellation NewEnergy's Great Lakes Region. "Evanston has already shown their commitment to providing a healthier and greener community for its residents, and Constellation NewEnergy is proud to help further its efforts."

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