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Penn Again Tops Higher Education Division of EPA's Green-Power Partners List

November 15, 2011, Volume 58, No. 12

With a green power usage of 200,194,600 kWh annually, the University of Pennsylvania has retained its top spot among institutions of higher learning on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s list of green-power purchasers. 

The EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the highest green-power purchases in the nation since 2006, and Penn has led its peers for the past five years.

When compared to users of green power across all industries, Penn ranked No. 22 nationally. Green-power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.

Penn’s green power is generated by wind and represents 48 percent of the school’s total electricity usage annually. The University buys renewable energy certificates from local green-energy supplier Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts. 

“Our continued purchase of wind power is representative of Penn’s larger commitment to sustainability at both the local and global levels,” said Ken Ogawa, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services executive director of operations and maintenance. “By purchasing power from sustainable sources, we are able to educate the Penn community on the importance of renewable energy while making a positive impact on the environment.”

Energy conservation is a major goal of Penn’s Climate Action Plan (Almanac September 29, 2009) which calls for a 17 percent reduction in energy use by 2014 from the University’s 2007 baseline, and the use of green power is one of the University’s strategies to reach that goal. Other strategies call for programs to encourage sustainable behavior in the campus community, renovations of existing buildings and adoption of higher energy standards for new construction.

Additional information about the Climate Action Plan and the Green Campus Partnership is available at www.upenn.edu/sustainability

Almanac - November 15, 2011, Volume 58, No. 12