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Jekyll takes steps to save energy
The new Jekyll Island Convention Center is part of an initiative to increase clean energy options, said Allyson Jackson, general manager of the center.

It's in keeping with the Jekyll Island Authority's focus on balancing the natural state of the island with development.

The building is now not just a power consumer, but a power producer.

The center will be earning Renewable Energy Credits for wind energy and giving them back to other industries located around wind energy producers.

It's all about reducing the building's carbon footprint.

"We don't have the capability to produce enough renewable energy locally so we purchase credits where the wind farms are," Jackson said. "They dump it into the power grid where they are located and we get credit for helping reduce the demand on fossil fuels.... even if it isn't right here on Jekyll."

The 128,000-square foot building is up for a silver-level LEED certification, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- a nod by the U.S. Green Building Council for designing an environmentally conscious and sustainable building.

The facility already has multiple environmentally friendly designs including solar panels, low-impact lighting and dedicated parking for electric vehicles.

The meetings industry is one of the largest producers of trash, Jackson said. Many participants leave behind unused brochures and other promotional materials after large conventions.

"That leaves the facility with all of that to clean up and what facilities are trying to do is reduce our carbon footprint," Jackson said.

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