FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma is this year’s Big 12 Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Big 12 Conference, according to standings released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“It is an honor for the University of Oklahoma to be recognized as a leader in the Big 12 and the nation for our green power purchases,” said Brian Ellis, director of OU Facilities Management. “Through diversification of our energy portfolio, we not only reduce the amount of emissions to the atmosphere but also encourage other universities and businesses to support alternative energy technologies,” he said. “OU has long been recognized as a leader in energy, and it is our hope to continue that leadership in all areas of energy for the future.”
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.
OU beat its conference rivals by using more than 97 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 56 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. The University purchases a utility green power product from Oklahoma Gas & Electric, helping to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.
According to the U.S. EPA, OU’s green power use of more than 97 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 8,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of more than 13,000 passenger vehicles per year. The Big 12 Conference’s collective green power purchase of more than 113 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 10,000 average American homes, or the annual CO2 emissions of more than 15,000 passenger vehicles.
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.
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.