The SRI Conference began purchasing carbon offsets in 2003. In 2005, we began our relationship with NativeEnergy. NativeEnergy is partly owned by the non-profit Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (COUP), an organization of Native American tribes. It is one of three U.S. companies to be rated as “top performing” in the first independent review of retail carbon offset providers out of a sample of 30 companies worldwide.
The 2012 SRI Conference supported the Indiana School Wind Project: Phase II. Three school districts in northern Indiana each installed a 900kW PowerWind turbine on their campuses. Each district owns its turbine and plans to take advantage of the net metering incentive offered through the local electric utility company. Under this arrangement, every kilowatt hour generated by the turbine offsets a kilowatt hour of electricy used by the school at the retail rate.
The turbines are expected to save the school districts millions of dollars over their 20+ year lives, helping the districts retain teachers and critical programs at a time when school budgets are dwindling. While the savings are significant over time, the initial cost for each turbine was prohibitive. NativeEnergy's Help Build™ approach, which provides early funding for carbon credits, made the economics of the project workable.
In addition to saving electricity, science-oriented students are receiving hands-on training in renewable energy. Real-time data from the turbines is streamed for educational use in one of the districts. High school students are eligible for dual credit courses with their local community college as a result of the project. (from the NativeEnergy website)