On September 10, 2008, the University signed an historic agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (OG&E) to purchase 100% of its OG&E-supplied electricity from renewable energy sources by 2013. This commitment is instrumental in enabling OG&E to build the OU Spirit Wind Farm – along with the required distribution lines to the grid – in northwestern Oklahoma.
Nearly a decade ago, OU researchers had the foresight to create the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative. Today, wind energy has the potential to create more than 15,000 new jobs and $500 million a year in property tax revenues in Oklahoma with appropriate investments in research and job training.
The OU Spirit Wind Farm was commissioned in 2010 and features 44 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines. The wind farm generates 101 megawatts, which is enough electricity to serve about 25,000 homes. Since January 2013, one hundred percent of the University of Oklahoma's purchased power have come from wind energy.
Since 2011, OU has been a member of the EPA Green Power Leadership Club, a club which recognizes exemplary green power procurement.
In 2012 the University was recognized as the EPA Green Power Partner of the Year, an award which recognizes an EPA Green Power Partner which has distinguished themselves through their green power use, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market. This award is the highest organizational honor in the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Awards.
This previous academic year, OU was recognized for the seventh consecutive year as the Big 12 Conference Winner of the EPA College and University Green Power Challenge. This award recognizes the largest green power user in the Big 12 Conference.
Currently, the University of Oklahoma ranks 8th in the nation in terms of total volume of renewable energy purchased by institutions of higher education in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program.