The University of Oklahoma is this year’s Big 12 Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the conference, according to rankings just released by the U.S. Environmental Agency.
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.
The University of Oklahoma beat its conference rivals by using nearly 154 million kilowatt-hours of green power, representing 85 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.
According to the U.S. EPA, the University of Oklahoma’s green power use of nearly 154 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 16,000 American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 23,000 vehicles per year. The Big 12’s collective green power purchase of more than 282 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 30,000 average American homes, or the annual CO2 emissions of more than 41,000 passenger vehicles.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydropower. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.