For the fourth year in a row, the University of Pennsylvania has emerged as the top individual school in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2009-2010 College and University Green Power Challenge, according to an EPA press release. The university beat out 53 other universities by purchasing more than 192 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of green power, or 46 percent of their power purchases. Green power electricity generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which helps with climate change.
Collectively, the Ivy League is the overall college conference champion in the challenge, with an annual green power usage of more than 225 million kWh â€” the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 31,000 vehicles. After the Ivy League, the Big Ten Conference followed by the University Athletic Association are in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
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 has to qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference has to collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power.
Spread across 26 athletic conferences nationwide, 54 universities competed in this year’s challenge. The challenge’s total annual green power usage of more than 1 billion kWh has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the CO2 emissions of nearly 160,000 vehicles.
EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with traditional fossil fuel-based electricity use. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.
The partnership includes a diverse set of 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: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm
More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower