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Still #1: Top Green Power Purchaser in Higher Education
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April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31

The University of Pennsylvania has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the nation’s leading purchaser of green power among institutions of higher learning.

Penn led by purchasing nearly 193 million kilowatt-hours of green power, which represents 46 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. The University buys renewable energy certificates from Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ purchased-electricity use.

The EPA estimates that Penn’s purchase of green power is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 19,200 average American homes each year or has the equivalent impact of reducing the CO2 emissions of more than 25,300 passenger cars annually.

“We are taking aggressive steps in our commitment to alternative energy consumption,” Anne Papageorge, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services vice president, said. “By serving as a role model for wind power purchasing, we have encouraged other institutions to join the effort to reduce their carbon emissions, and in the process we are making a greater impact on the global environment.”

Penn and two other Ivy League schools also received the 2008-09 Collective Conference Champions Award, which recognizes the Ivy League athletic conference and its participating schools, the collective green power purchase of which was the largest among all participating conferences. A total of 22 collegiate conferences and 44 schools competed in the 2008-09 challenge, collectively purchasing more than 1 billion kWh of green power. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities and conferences. Additional information on how to qualify is available at www.epa.gov/grnpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

“Each year our college and university Green Power Partners raise the bar for clean, renewable energy use,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “By taking action on its campus, the University of Pennsylvania is helping to move our nation into a clean-energy future.”

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro and is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity and has lower carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.

Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the highest green power purchases in the nation, and Penn has been the No. 1 school for the past three years.

More information about Penn’s energy strategy is available at www.upenn.edu/sustainability.

Related: RecycleMania

Almanac - April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31