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New England Colleges and Universities Recognized in EPA Green Power Challenge

Release Date: 05/06/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 6, 2009) – For the third year in a row, the Ivy League won EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge by purchasing the most green power among the schools competing. The Ivy League schools, with Harvard University topping the New England institutions, bought a total of more than 225 million kilowatt-hours of green power, the equivalent in carbon dioxide emissions reductions to taking nearly 30,000 vehicles off the road.

The EPA College and University Green Power Challenge ranks collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power bought by their member schools. This year’s challenge included 44 competing institutions representing 22 different conferences nationwide. Together, they bought more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of green power, which had the equivalent environmental impact of taking more than 136,000 vehicles off the road.

The Ivy League conference topped the list with the largest total purchase among all conferences, and earned EPA recognition as the 2008-2009 Collective Conference Champion. The New England schools that contributed to this honor included Harvard University, which purchased 31.5 million kwh or 10 percent of its power use; and Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which purchased 1.2 million kwh or 47 percent of its power from green sources.

“These schools are taking a leadership role supporting a cleaner and greener future,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Our Green Power Partners set the standards for clean, renewable energy use and help our country work towards a cleaner energy future.”

To be eligible for the challenge, each school in the conference has to qualify as an EPA Green Power partner and each conference has to collectively purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power. 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 Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions and a growing number of colleges and universities.

Harvard joined the EPA Green Power Partnership in 2005, and ranks among the nation's top university purchasers of renewable energy. The Harvard Green Campus Initiative, a faculty organization that works with the Harvard community to boost its commitment to green power, anticipates that the purchase will double in the next one to two years. In 2005, the school announced a $100,000 per year renewable energy fund.

Colby College in Waterville, Maine and Southern New Hampshire University were recognized as individual conference champions for their individual green power purchases among the schools in their conference. Colby, part of the “New England Small College Athletic” conference, bought 15.98 million kwh and Southern New Hampshire, in the “Northeast-10” conference, bought 12 million kwh. For both of these schools, this represented 100 percent of their electricity needs.

Colby is committed to buying all of its electricity from renewable resources within Maine. Its purchase was comprised of low-impact hydro and biomass. The college also buys wind energy certificates to bring its total green power purchase to 103 percent of its campus electricity load.

Other New England educational institutions participating in the partnership include:

- University of Sothern Maine, which purchased more than a million kwh, representing about 7 percent of its electricity consumption
- Connecticut College, which purchased 15 million kwh, representing all of its electricity consumption
- Bowdoin College, which purchased 12. 6 million kwh, 66 percent of its electricity consumption
- Middlebury, which purchased 2.2 million kwh, 10 percent of its electricity consumption.
- University of Massachusetts/Lowell, which purchased 4 million kwh, or 13 percent of its electric consumption.

More information:
EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm

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