Times-Independent becomes first wind-powered newspaper in Utah

The Moab Times-Independent announced a large boost today to the community’s EPA Green Power Community Partner goal by offsetting 100 percent of its electricity use with Utah Power’s Blue Sky wind power.

Blue Sky gives customers a way to grow the demand for wind energy and to take advantage of its environmental benefits. It is sold by Utah Power in 100-kilowatt-hour block increments for $1.95 each, in addition to a customer’s regular monthly electric bill.

If the Moab community purchases three percent of its energy from renewable sources – the equivalent of 2,455 block increments of Blue Sky – it will receive national recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency as the first U.S. EPA Green Power Community Partner.

The community is close to its goal. Moab is now linking two percent of its energy use to renewable energy through Blue Sky, which is 68 percent of goal, with more than 1,668 blocks purchased.

The Times-Independent’s purchase of 21 blocks (2,100 kilowatt-hours) each month helps Moab move closer to its 3 percent goal. It also contributes a substantial environmental benefit, as 21 blocks of Blue Sky has the same impact of not driving a car 54,000 miles or planting 10 acres of trees. The Times-Independent’s Blue Sky purchase is equivalent to the amount of energy used by 3.5 average homes each month.

“Moab has been working to achieve this national EPA award for a year now and we want to be part of the effort,” explained Adrien Taylor, Times-Independent editor. “We know the additional amount we pay goes toward the development of cleaner power sources. We’re working with the city, and with a local committee to meet the EPA award level by October 15.”

Moab established two goals over a year ago – one to reach 5 percent customer participation in Blue Sky, and the aforementioned goal of linking 3 percent of the energy used by the community to renewables.

Sarah Wright, Director of Utah Clean Energy, has been working with city officials for a year to enroll businesses and residential customers in Blue Sky.

“I’m impressed by how well this community is working together to create change and bring more clean energy into our system,” she said. “Beyond their local efforts, Moab is inspiring communities around the nation to take the lead in the promotion of sustainable energy. I’ve been contacted by towns in Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin and Georgia about how to create community challenges for renewable power.”

In Utah, three communities are already following Moab’s example: Salt Lake City, Park City and

Sundance.