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University of Central Oklahoma receives EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award

Release Date: 11/16/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

DALLAS – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) for its green power purchasing - with a Green Power Leadership Award (GPLA) at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco. The GPLAs recognize EPA Green Power Partners who are reducing their environmental impacts from electricity use and supporting new and renewable energy generation nationwide.

EPA estimates that the UCO’s purchase of green power is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes each year, or the equivalent of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from nearly 4,000 vehicles annually. UCO is also the only university in Oklahoma that is 100 percent wind-powered.

“The University of Central Oklahoma continues to set an excellent example of how green power can benefit the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “The use of renewable power sources is a great way to generate electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Since UCO started purchasing wind power in 2006, it has consistently been one of the largest green power purchasers among EPA’s higher education partners. The university purchased over 26 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually through its local utility. To date, UCO has realized savings of more than $50,000 by switching to all wind-power. The school is also investigating the possibility of installing wind turbines on campus for power generation, demonstration and educational purposes.

UCO is the state’s oldest institution of higher learning reinforcing the premise that universities have a special role and responsibility in confronting the challenges of climate change and environmental stewardship.

The EPA’s Green Power Partnership works with a wide variety of leading organizations — from Fortune 500 companies to local, state and federal governments and a growing number of colleges and universities. EPA presents the Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions.

The nearly 1,300 partners in the voluntary program use more than 21 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. This is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of over 1.8 million average American homes for a year. Green power is electricity generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydro and produces no net increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

EPA audio file is available at
http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/nov2011.html

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