EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University ranks No. 7 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of Green Power partners among higher education institutions.
The University was recognized for its voluntary purchase of 40 million kilowatt-hours of green power, representing 20 percent of the school's annual electricity usage. Northwestern last year purchased Renewable Energy Certificates sourced from wind energy, to be used for 20 percent of its yearly energy needs for the next four years.
This is equivalent to preventing more than 77 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, taking 7,317 cars off the road or planting 9,586 acres of trees each year.
The “green power” purchase augments the University's commitment to environmental sustainability and to reduction in the cost of utilities.
Northwestern's renewable energy is provided by Midwestern wind farms, including the Weatherford Wind Energy Center in Custer County, Oklahoma. The Renewable Energy Certificate program is administered by 3 Phases Energy, a national renewable energy marketing and development company.
The EPA list highlights its College and University Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary green power purchases through Dec. 31, 2006. The list will be updated in April.
In addition to wind sources, “Green power” includes electricity that is partially or entirely generated from clean resources, such as solar, 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, according to the EPA. Green power purchases accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.