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OU Ranks No. 4 on EPA's Top 20 College and University List of Green Power Purchasers

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4-23-12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEAS                                   

CONTACT: Mollie Lemon, U.S. EPA
Phone: (202) 343-9859 Email: lemon.mollie@epa.gov

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma ranks No. 4 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 20 College and University list of the largest green power purchasers, EPA officials announced today.  OU is purchasing more than 97 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 56 percent of the University’s electricity use.

“The University of Oklahoma’s initiative to purchase wind power is a key component to fulfilling OU’s pledge to reduce energy emissions on campus,” said Brian Ellis, OU Facilities Management director.  “It is important for an institution of higher learning to serve as a role model for private industry and future generations.  OU has demonstrated its continued leadership in the nation’s energy industry and has earned another important recognition of our efforts.  In a very short time, OU has emerged as a top five institution for its use of green power.”

OU is buying a utility green power product from Oklahoma Gas & Electric in an effort to move away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

This purchase also qualifies OU for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA’s minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase 10 times the partnership’s minimum requirement organization-wide.

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

According to the U.S. EPA, OU's green power purchase of more than 97 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 13,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 8,000 average American homes annually.

The EPA’s National Top Partner lists, highlighting some of America’s largest green power purchasers, is located at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.