The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Colby College the 2007-08 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 College & University Green Power Challenge, which concluded April 28 with 40 schools and 18 conferences participating nationwide.
Because Colby purchases all of its electricity from renewable resources within Maine (low-impact hydro and biomass) and also purchases Green-E-certified wind power Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset energy use in its LEED-certified buildings, the EPA lists Colby as using 115-percent green electricity -- the highest percentage among the 40 participating colleges and universities.
Colby used more than 17 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power -- more than any other NESCAC school -- during the competition. The college generates about 10 percent of its electricity with a co-generation turbine driven by exhaust at the on-campus steam plant used to heat buildings.
EPA estimates that Colby's purchase of green power is equivalent to electricity for more than 2,000 average American homes for a year, and that the resulting reduction in CO2 emissions is the equivalent of taking nearly 2,000 passenger cars off the road for a year.
"EPA applauds this year's College & University Green Power Conference Champions for their leadership in green power purchasing," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By switching to green power sources, Colby College is proving that doing what's good for the environment is also good for education."
A third year of the EPA College & University Green Power Challenge will conclude in spring 2009. EPA's Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. For information and 2007-08 results, visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm
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.
About the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership
EPA's Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to purchase green power to reduce environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Green Power Partnership currently has hundreds of partners, including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium-sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and trade associations, as well as colleges and universities. For information visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower