(DALLAS – April 18, 2012)  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, has claimed a top spot in EPA’s sixth College and University Green Power Challenge for 2011-2012.  The EPA tracks and recognizes collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation.    Purchases of green power help spur the development of the nation’s green power market and reduce harmful air pollution.
“By committing to alternative, renewable sources of energy, Southwestern University has moved to the front of the class,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz.  “Green power not only helps green the planet, but reduces greenhouse gases while growing the American economy.”
Southwestern University signed an agreement that will enable it to meet all its electric needs for the next 18 years with wind power.  The agreement will help Southwestern toward its long-term goal of being carbon-neutral.  The university is committed to carbon neutrality through the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, which formally commits campuses to eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions and net contributions to climate change.
This year’s challenge participation included 73 competing institutions, representing 30 athletic conferences nationwide.  The challenge’s total annual green power usage of more than 1.8 billion kWh has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 150,000 homes.

The EPA ranks collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power used by their member schools.  To be eligible, each school in the conference must qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power.  EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.  Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.

The partnership works with over 1,300 diverse organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions, as well as a growing number of colleges and universities.

More information on the winners of EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge is available at www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm

More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership is available at www.epa.gov/greenpower
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html
For more information contact Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov