The University of Oklahoma has increased its ranking to No. 2 on the Top 20 College and University list of the largest green power purchasers, according to standings just released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This increased purchase further demonstrates OU's commitment to protecting the environment and builds upon its existing partnership with EPA's Green Power Partnership.
OU is purchasing nearly 154 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 85 percent of the organization's electricity use. OU is buying a utility green power product from Oklahoma Gas & Electric. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.
In addition to OU’s spot on the Top 20 College and University list, the university’s green energy use qualifies the University of Oklahoma for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA’s minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase ten times the partnership’s minimum requirement organization-wide.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
According to the U.S. EPA, OU's green power purchase of nearly 154 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 23,000 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 16,000 average American homes annually.