April 29, 2008-The University of Utah’s annual purchase of green power places the school among the top 10 in the nation under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s College & University Green Power Challenge. The university’s annual voluntary purchase of 36,666,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 5,000 vehicles. The school has been in the top 10 for the past three years.
“EPA applauds the University of Utah for their leadership in green power purchasing,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By switching to green power resources the university is proving that doing what’s good for the environment is also good for education.”
This year’s Green Power Challenge included 40 competing institutions representing 18 different collegiate conferences nationwide. For the second year in a row, the Ivy League has been crowned as the overall champion conference.
Since the spring of 2007, EPA has ranked collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power bought by their member schools. The University of Utah is the Mountain West Conference champion. To be eligible, each school in the conference has to qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference had to collectively purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power.
Green power is a subset of renewable energy and represents those resources and technologies that generate electricity with the highest environmental benefit. Green power is produced from eligible resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. It has a superior environmental profile to traditional power generation, generating electricity with no net increase of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with traditional fossil fuel-based electricity use. The partnership includes a diverse set of organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions as well as a growing number of colleges and universities.
The Green Power Partnership also recognized the leading green power purchases of 17 other schools as individual conference champions. In total, the colleges and universities represented in this year’s challenge are buying more than 960 million kWh of green power annually. EPA estimates that this amount of green power is equal to the electricity needed to power nearly 97,000 average American homes each year.
EPA announced the kickoff of the 2008-2009 Green Power Challenge this week, which is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2009.
A complete list of all partner organizations in EPA’s Green Power Partnership is available at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/index.htm
For information on EPA’s College & University Green Power Challenge, visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.