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[ Penn takes top honors in EPA’s Green Power Challenge ]

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The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has finished in first place in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s nationwide College and University Green Power Challenge.

EPA began its Green Power Challenge for higher education institutions in 2006, and University of Pennsylvania has been the winner every year.   The University of Pennsylvania took top honors this year by purchasing more than 200 million kWh of wind power annually–more green power than any of the 75 other competing schools.

“When it comes to using green power and reducing environmental impacts, the University of Pennsylvania has consistently stood out as the leader among colleges and universities,” said EPA’s mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “By demonstrating an incredible commitment to purchase green power, the university has also helped contribute to the growth of green jobs and a green economy.”

EPA defines green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.

As part of EPA’s Green Power Partnership, more than 1,400 organizations are purchasing more than 26 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, avoiding carbon pollution equal to that created by the electricity use of more than 2.8 million American homes. The partnership provides quarterly updated lists of partners using green power in several other categories including K-12 schools, technology and telecommunications, local government, and retail, among others.

Along with a competition among individual colleges and universities, the challenge also included competition among 32 competing athletic conferences. The Big 10 won this year’s challenge by collectively using more than 310 million kWh of green power annually and avoiding carbon pollution equal to that produced by the electricity use of more than 32,000 American homes.

More on the 2012-13 EPA College and University Green Power Challenge conference champions: www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm

More on EPA’s Green Power Partnership: www.epa.gov/greenpower

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