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Oklahoma Universities Make the Grade in EPA’s Green Power Challenge

Release Date: 04/18/2012
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – April 18, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced two Oklahoma universities claimed top spots in the EPA’s sixth College and University Green Power Challenge for 2011-2012. The EPA ranks and recognizes collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. Purchases of green power help spur the development of the nation’s green power market and reduce harmful air pollution.

“By committing to alternative, renewable sources of energy, these universities have moved to the front of the class,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “Green power not only helps green the planet, but reduces greenhouse gases while growing the American economy.”

The University of Oklahoma (OU) uses wind power to provide 56 percent of its electricity use. In a contract with the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E), OU expects to purchase 100 percent of its energy from wind power 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.

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is purchasing 100 percent of its power from wind. Using 26 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, it is one of the largest purchasers of green power by a college or university in the nation. The university also has on-site bio-diesel production, works with a performance contractor to increase its energy performance, and employs Energy Star-labeled products.

This year’s challenge participation included 73 competing institutions, representing 30 athletic conferences nationwide. The challenge’s total annual green power usage of more than 1.8 billion kWh has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 150,000 homes.

The EPA ranks collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power used by their member schools. To be eligible, each school in the conference must qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power. EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.

The partnership works with over 1,300 diverse organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions, as well as a growing number of colleges and universities.

More information on the winners of EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge is available at
www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm

More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership is available at
www.epa.gov/greenpower

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


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