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City plans switch to wind energy in June

HUDSON – Representatives from Viridian Energy joined city officials at a Wednesday press conference to recognize Hudson’s switch in June to 100 percent, locally produced wind energy.

Through Viridian Energy’s Pure Green program, Hudson can begin purchasing its full electric supply as wind power from the retailer next month.

“Today, we embark on the future of Hudson, saving taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars wherever we’re able to, while doing something right for the environment and our state’s economy,” Mayor William Hallenbeck said at the press conference held at Hudson Fire Department’s Central Station.

Wednesday’s announcement distinguishes Hudson as the only municipality statewide to be exclusively powered by wind energy, Hallenbeck said.

The mayor called on other Columbia County elected officials to follow his city’s lead.

By partnering with Viridian Energy, Hallenbeck estimated the city could see a cost savings of approximately $40,000 or more a year, and more than $500,000 of energy cost savings after a decade. Such savings, the mayor added, are helping prevent any tax increases.

City Public Works Department Superintendent Robert Perry said the city spends, on average, $250,000 a year on its energy bills. No adjustments to the city’s current infrastructure, Perry confirmed, are required. Only the city’s energy suppliers change, he added, although National Grid is still charged with its delivery.

City officials provided Patrick Manning, an independent Viridian Energy associate, copies of Hudson’s utility bills to calculate the estimated savings, Perry said afterward.

Common Council President Donald Moore remarked how developments in renewable energy have saved untold dollars, and supported American manufacturers. Seventy percent of a wind turbine’s equipment can be built domestically, Moore added. He described Wednesday’s announcement as being good for Hudson, and even better for “Made in America.”

Jim Kenny, another independent Viridian Energy associate, commented how, after four years, the company has spun its operations out into nine states, and become the fifth-largest retail supplier of renewable energy.

In their self-published Sustainability Report last year, Viridian Energy credited itself with preventing more than 846 million pounds of carbon dioxide from escaping into the Earth’s atmosphere in 2011.

Viridian Energy’s Everyday Green rate, Kenny explained, gives residential and commercial clients the option of purchasing 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Through the company’s Pure Green rate, Kenny said 100 percent of their renewable energy can be certified by Green-e, the nation’s top independent certification and verification program.

“We’re leaders now in green energy,” Hallenbeck said. “It’s another historic day here in the city of Hudson.”