July 19, 2006–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the University of Utah has made its list of Top 10 Green Power Partners. The U is being recognized for its voluntary purchase of 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, which it purchases in the form of wind-generated electricity from Sterling Planet. The EPA list of the nation’s Top 10 College and University green power purchasers is available at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/top10ed.htm.
This Top 10 list highlights institutions of higher education within EPA”s Green Power Partnership that have completed the largest annual voluntary green power purchases through June 26, 2006. “Green power” is defined by the Partnership as electricity products that are partially or entirely generated from environmentally preferable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact biomass and hydro resources.
Making the Green Power list was the direct result of efforts by the U to purchase a block of wind power, to offset its reliance on fossil-fuel generated electricity. “This recognition by the EPA recognizes the University of Utah’s leadership and commitment toward the enhancement of our community through good environmental stewardship,” said Cory D. Higgins, director of plant operations.
These renewable energy sources are cleaner than conventional sources of electricity that produce carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Green power purchases support the demand for and development of new renewable energy capacity.
“Purchasing green power is one of the easiest ways for an organization to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and improve the environment,” said Blaine Collison, program director for the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “The University of Utah”s use of green power helps reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use and helps promote our nation’s energy independence.”
The EPA, using data on national average avoided carbon dioxide CO2 emissions, estimates that the University of Utah’s purchase is equivalent to avoiding more than 34 million pounds of CO2. Buying 25 million kWh of green power is comparable to removing the emissions of nearly 3,013 cars annually or planting more than 4,662 acres of trees per year.
About the EPA’s Green Power Partnership
EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program helping to increase the use of green power among leading U.S. organizations. The program encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the risk of climate change and the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. Currently, the Green Power Partnership has over 600 Partners voluntarily purchasing more than 5.3 billion kWh of green power. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities.