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Norman – The University of Oklahoma is one of only four organizations nationwide to be selected as a Green Power Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA officials presented the Green Power Leadership Awards today at an event held in conjunction with the 2012 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Washington, D.C.
The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power purchasers who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market. OU is currently purchasing more than 97 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 56 percent of the organization’s purchased electricity use. OU is buying utility green power products from Oklahoma Gas and Electric.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Brian Ellis, director of OU Facilities Management. “Purchasing green power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the United States that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision.”
OU currently ranks on EPA’s National Top 50 List, as well as in the top five on EPA’s Top 20 College and University List. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through July 5, 2012.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while offering a superior environmental profile compared to traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.
According to the EPA, OU’s current 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 is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 8,000 average American homes annually.
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 purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations collectively 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.
About the Green Power Leadership Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year; On-site Generation; Green Power Purchasing; Sustained Excellence in Green Power; Green Power Community of the Year; Green Power Supplier of the Year; and Innovative Green Power Program of the Year. EPA’s Green Power User awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. EPA’s Green Power Supplier awards recognize green power suppliers for outstanding efforts, initiatives and programs that significantly advance the development of green power sources serving the voluntary market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/.