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EPA Recognizes UMD for Leading Green Power Use

solar panels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked the University of Maryland No. 14 on the Top 30 College & University list of the largest green power users.  UMD is using more than 96 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 86 percent of the university’s purchased electricity.

The university was also recognized along with other schools in the Big Ten Conference as the Collective Conference Champions. At more than 496 million kWh, the Big Ten topped the list with the largest total amount of green power used among all conferences.

University of Maryland is using a combination of green power products from WGL Energy, Roth Rock North Wind Farm, Pinnacle Wind, and Constellation.  In addition, the university is generating green power from an on-site solar energy system. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

“The university will continue to show its long-term commitment to environmental leadership by not only continuing to invest in renewable energy projects but also in various energy conservation projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and water use,” said Mary-Ann Ibeziako, Director, Engineering and Energy.

In addition to its spot on the Top 30 College & University and the Collective Conference Champions list, the university also appears at No. 83 on the National Top 100 list, which includes not only universities but also national companies and organizations.  This is the third year the university made the national list.  UMD also appears on EPA’s Long-term Green Power Contracts list, recognizing the university’s 20-year contract to purchase green power.

Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.

According to the U.S. EPA, University of Maryland's green power use of more than 96 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 10,000 average American homes annually.

Facilities Management oversees university energy utilization and remains committed to finding alternative and renewable sources of energy to power the campus.  In April 2014, President Wallace Loh announced the President’s Energy Initiatives, an ambitious set of goals aimed at propelling the university toward its next major Climate Action Plan benchmark: cutting carbon emissions in half by 2020.  The initiatives highlighted the university’s plan to accomplish this through energy conservation, carbon-neutral new development, and the purchasing of electricity from renewable energy sources.

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