By Steve Smith
Sentinel and Transcript Newspapers
Waverly Light and Power, the municipal utility for Waverly, Iowa, was awarded the 2002 Paul Rappaport Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Award by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.
NREL inaugurated the national award this year in celebration of the laboratory's 25th anniversary. It is named for NREL's first director and honors outstanding efforts to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
Waverly began its wind program in 1991, at a time when the city faced a crisis in energy supply. In 1993, Waverly installed the first utility-scale wind turbine in Iowa. Since the beginning of Waverly's wind program, Iowa has installed about 350 wind turbines, producing more than 500 megawatts of electricity.
Today, Iowa ranks third among the states, behind only California and Texas, in wind energy development.
Waverly Light and Power also launched the Iowa Energy Tags Program in 2001, becoming the first electric utility in the nation to offer the increasingly popular tags, which allow renewable energy to be substituted for traditional energy sources.
Each Iowa Energy Tag represents the environmental benefits of 2,500 kilowatt hours of wind generation. The program is open to companies and individuals - in Iowa, around the nation and internationally - with funds received going to help pay for future wind generation equipment and development.
Waverly likewise has championed the cause of renewable energy and energy efficiency in many forums around the country. Its representatives have spoken out for renewable energy before Congress and within utility industry trade groups.
"We are little, as utilities go, but we've proven that no matter how large a system you have, you still can do the right thing," said Waverly Light and Power General Manager Glenn Cannon.
"We have seen a lot of good come from our renewable energy efforts. They've allowed us to run an efficient, effective utility, and at the same time strengthen our rural economy and provide some substantial environmental benefits for us all."
Cannon accepted the award on behalf of the town and its utility at a ceremony commemorating NREL's 25th anniversary.
Published July 31, 2002
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