PHILADELPHIA â€“- With a green power usage of 200 million kWh annually, the University of Pennsylvania has retained its top spot among institutions of higher learning on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s list of green-power purchasers.
The EPAâ€™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 four years.
When compared to users of green power across all industries, Penn ranked No. 20 nationally. Green-power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.
Pennâ€™s green power is generated by wind and represents 48 percent of the schoolâ€™s annual electricity usage. The University buys renewable energy certificates from local green-energy supplier Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts.
â€śOur continued purchase of wind power is representative of Pennâ€™s larger commitment to sustainability at both the local and global levels,â€ť said Ken Ogawa, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services executive director of operations and maintenance. â€śBy 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.â€ť
Energy conservation is a major goal of Pennâ€™s Climate Action Plan, which calls for a 17 percent reduction in energy use by 2014, and the use of green power is one of the Universityâ€™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 Pennâ€™s Climate Action Plan and the Green Campus Partnership is available at www.upenn.edu/sustainability.