The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that the University of Maryland ranked No. 12 on the Top 30 College & University list of the largest green power users. The university maintained its ranking from last year. UMD is using more than 87 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 32 percent of the university’s electricity use.
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.
"We are honored at this critical juncture when the world is looking to address the most existential challenge of our times – mitigation of, and resiliency to global warming, to continue to take a lead role in the use of green power, this especially after the university co-hosted the United Nations-sponsored Climate Action 2016 Summit in Washington, D.C. for some 600 invited leaders from around the world," said UMD Director of Engineering & Energy MaryAnn Ibeziako. “We will continue to put knowledge into practice as we help to develop the policies that will support a sustainable today and tomorrow.”
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.
In addition to its spot on the Top 30 College & University list, the university also appears at No. 74 on the National Top 100 list, which includes not only universities but also national companies and organizations. This is the second year the university made the national list, moving up from No. 80 last year. UMD also appears on EPA’s Long-term Green Power Contracts list, recognizing the university’s 20-year contract to purchase green power.
"EPA applauds the University of Maryland for its commitment to using green power long-term and for taking a leadership position on the environment,” said James Critchfield, Manager of the Green Power Partnership. "UMD is helping to reduce carbon pollution and provides an excellent example for other higher educational institutions to invest in environmental progress.”
According to the U.S. EPA, University of Maryland's green power use of more than 87 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 8,000 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.
For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
October 26, 2016