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For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Colby College the Individual Conference Champion for purchasing more green power than any other school in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). EPA has been tracking green power purchasing among collegiate athletic conferences through its 2008-09 College & University Green Power Challenge.
Because Colby purchases all of its electricity from renewable resources (low-impact hydro, biomass and wind) and also purchases Green-E-certified wind power Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), the EPA lists Colby as using 103-percent green electricity — the highest percentage among the 43 participating colleges and universities nationwide.
Colby purchased almost 16 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power — more than any other NESCAC school — during the competition. In addition to purchased power, the college generates about 10 percent of its electricity with a co-generation turbine at the on-campus steam plant used to heat campus buildings.
EPA estimates that Colby’s purchase of green power is equivalent to electricity for more than 1,600 average American homes for a year, and that the resulting reduction in CO2 emissions is the equivalent of taking nearly 2,100 passenger cars off the road for a year.
Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Green power is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity and has lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. For information and 2008-09 results, visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.