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Northwestern Honored for Renewable Energy Use

EPA Green Power Leadership Award honors leading green power users

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has received a 2015 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.

Northwestern was one of only eleven EPA Green Power Partners nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for its green power purchase and commitment to clean energy. Northwestern has supported the growth of green power through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) for nearly 10 years.

“Green power is an important part of our overall approach to energy,” said Rob Whittier, director of Northwestern’s Office of Sustainability. “First we reduce energy use though smart design, energy conservation projects and occupant engagement and then offset the impact of the energy that we do use by sourcing cleaner energy like solar and wind.”

Already a leader in the use of green power, Northwestern took a major step forward this year by purchasing renewable energy certificates equivalent to 50 percent of its annual electricity usage -- up from 38 percent a year ago. A renewable energy certificate is a tradable energy commodity that represents proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.

Earlier this year, the EPA ranked Northwestern No. 4 on its list of the largest green power users among colleges and universities.

According to the EPA, Northwestern's current green power use of more than 122 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 12,000 average American homes annually.

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.

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