NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma is this year’s Big 12 Conference Champion of the College and University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the conference, according to rankings just released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.
OU outperformed its conference rivals by using nearly 129 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 69 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. OU purchases a utility green power product from Oklahoma Gas & Electric, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use and supports cleaner renewable energy alternatives.
According to the U.S. EPA, OU’s green power use of nearly 129 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 11,800 average American homes annually.
In the 2016-2017 EPA challenge, the 36 collegiate conferences and 98 schools competing collectively used nearly 3.2 billion kWh of green power. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to any collegiate athletic conference in the United States. In order to qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least two schools that qualify as Green Power Partners, and the conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power.
Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, eligible biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.
For more information about the EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/college-and-university-challenge.