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Colby College and Southern New Hampshire University Among Top 10 in EPA’s Green Power Championship

Release Date: 04/29/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 29, 2008) - Colby College and Southern New Hampshire University are national winners in EPA’s 2007-2008 College & University Green Power Challenge, for buying 100 percent of their electricity demand from renewable sources such as hydro power and wind. This year, the challenge included 40 competing institutions representing 18 different collegiate athletic conferences nationwide.

New England was led by Colby College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, and Southern New Hampshire University of the Northeast 10 Conference. Both of these institutions led their respective conferences due to their purchases of electricity from renewable sources. Other colleges in those conferences which also procured some portion of their power from renewable sources include UMASS Lowell, Connecticut College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Hamilton College and Wesleyan University.

"EPA applauds Colby College and Southern New Hampshire University for their commitment to using green power sources," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "These green power' alternatives help to reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and our nation’s dependence on imported oil."

Over the course of the 2007-2008 academic year, EPA ranked collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power purchased by their member schools. To be eligible, each school had to qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference had to have a collective green power purchase of at least 10 million kWh. Green power is produced from eligible renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Green power is considered to be cleaner than conventional sources of electricity, and contributes net zero carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.

"Southern New Hampshire University's green power purchase is part of its renewable energy hedge," said Roy Morrison, SNHU's director of Office for Sustainability. "For 15 years we offset our carbon emissions, changed energy from a variable to a fixed annual cost and helped build the renewable resource infrastructure."

"The Green Power Partnership is a great way to highlight Colby's commitment to sustainable energy, and of course we appreciate being recognized by the EPA as a leader," said Patricia Crandlemire Murphy, Director of Colby's Physical Plant Department.

EPA's Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel-based electricity use. The partnership includes a diverse set of organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions as well as colleges and universities. Buying green power can be one of the easiest strategies to reduce an organization’s carbon-footprint.

Combined, Colby College and Southern New Hampshire University purchased nearly 30 million kWh of green power this year. EPA estimates that this amount of green power is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions avoided from the electricity used by 3,000 average American homes in a year. In total, the colleges and universities represented in this year's challenge are buying more than 960 million kWh of green power annually, the equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions avoided from the electricity used by 100,000 homes each year.

EPA also announced the kickoff of the 2008-2009 Green Power Challenge this week, which is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2009.

More information:

- Green Power Partnership 2007-2008
college/university challenge winners (epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top10ed.htm)

EPA’s Green Power Partnership (epa.gov/greenpower)

EPA's College & University Green Power Challenge (epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm)