The North Texas Tollway Authority will lower the cost it pays for electricity and reduce its carbon footprint under an agreement with a new power provider. The NTTA signed a four-year contract with lowest responsible bidder Green Mountain Energy, ensuring at least 10 percent of Authority power use will be wind-sourced beginning in January 2014.
The renewable energy to supply the NTTA will be purchased in the form of wind Renewable Energy Certificates, the industry standard for accounting for renewable electricity generation. Purchasing RECs ensures that 10 percent of the estimated energy used by NTTA is added to the U.S. power grid from renewable sources. By choosing renewable energy over standard system power, the NTTA will avoid producing 7.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the course of the four year commitment – the equivalent of taking 720 cars off the road for a year.
This move will be in concert with other NTTA sustainability efforts, including native landscaping to aid in tree and shrub sustainability and reducing ozone-causing traffic congestion through cashless toll collection, which removes idling, acceleration and deceleration at toll plazas as it lowers fuel consumption and reduces vehicle emissions.
The NTTA also protects water resources along roadways with aggressive storm water management and cleanup programs, complete turf coverage to reduce erosion and limited use of herbicides and pesticides. The Authority also uses a smart irrigation system, which adjusts run times based on weather conditions, eliminates run-off and saves millions of gallons of water annually.
As the power changeover date approaches, the NTTA will become eligible to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.
The partnership currently lists more than 1,400 partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually.
For more on NTTA sustainability efforts, visit NTTA.org.