McCormick Place Covers 100% of Electricity Needs with Wind Power

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR

Chicago, IL  – Chicago lived up to its reputation as the Windy City when McCormick Place committed to buying enough power generated by wind turbines to supply the convention center’s entire annual electricity needs.

The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority announced at WINDPOWER 2013 that it had purchased enough Green-e Renewable Energy Credits (REC) to cover an estimated 130 kilowatt-hours annually for the next three years.

“Purchasing wind power helps our organization be more sustainable,” said David Causton, general manager of McCormick Place, the largest convention center in the U.S., according to Trade Show Executive’s rankings of the World’s Largest Convention Centers. “It also sends a message to others that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing carbon emissions.”

Renewable energy credits pay the cost of electricity generated by renewable sources and delivered to the customer over standard transmission lines. The MPEA said its Green-e REC purchases would offset the equivalent of nearly 731 million pounds of carbon dioxide that would have been created by generating the same amount of power using fossil fuels.

The organizers of WINDPOWER 2013 called the commitment a sign that the MPEA and McCormick Place’s SMG management team appreciated the benefits of green energy, particularly wind power. Causton and his team had previously agreed to buy RECs to cover the electric bill for the conference.

“It is appropriate that wind energy will be powering every light bulb, every dynamic booth exhibit, and every Power Point slide at this amazing event,” said Rob Gramlich, interim CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “It’s clear that McCormick understands the many benefits of wind energy, which makes us all the more excited to gather at this world-class facility.”

Reach David Causton at (312) 791-7000 or dcauston@mpea.com