Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

February 2013

Oklahoma State University Ranks No. 5 on EPA’s Top 20 College and University List of Green Power Purchasers

 

Doctoral student Assoumane Maiga in the KOSU studio.

Doctoral student Assoumane Maiga in the KOSU studio, where he offered an insider’s perspective on developments in Mali for national radio audiences. Maiga was interviewed by “The Takeaway” and “On Point.”

klahoma State University announced today it is No. 5 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Top 20 College & University list of the largest green power purchasers.

OSU is purchasing 110,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 67 percent of the electricity use on the university’s main Stillwater campus. The university is buying a utility green power product from Oklahoma Gas & Electric, switching away from traditional sources of electricity generation and to cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

“We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a leader in green power,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “Purchasing green power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk.”

OSU entered into a 20-year agreement with OG&E to provide wind power to the Stillwater campus in late 2011. Cowboy Wind Farm, a 26-turbine, 60-megawatt facility near Blackwell, Okla., began generating 67 percent of the campus’s electricity on Jan. 1, 2013.

According to the U.S. EPA, Oklahoma State University's green power purchase of 110,000,000 kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 15,000 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 9,000 average American homes annually.

This purchase also qualifies OSU 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. As a result of OSU joining the Green Power Partnership, the Big 12 Conference jumped from No. 5 to No. 3 in the rankings.

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.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small- and medium-sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

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