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Penn State Ranks Among Nation’s Best In Green Energy Use

source: Lightsource bp web

Penn State was recently ranked No. 14 among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Top 30 College and Universities using green energy. The university placed second within the Big Ten behind the University of Maryland.

The list ranks universities based on their total kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green energy used from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact, small hydroelectric energy sources.

Of Penn State’s total power needs, 33% is coming from renewable energy, clocking in at 106 million kWh each year, according to the university. Much of Penn State’s green power purchasing comes from a partnership with Lightsource bp, contributing to 25% of the university’s energy needs. Other sources include the Orchard Road Solar site as well as hydroelectricity facilities.

“We are proud to be recognized by the EPA for our commitment to renewable energy,” said Bill Sitzabee, vice president of facilities management and planning and Penn State’s chief facilities officer. “By making the choice to increase our renewable energy investments, Penn State reduces its carbon emissions, while also sending a clear message that using green power is smart business.”

In 2005, Penn State set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 17.5% by 2012, which the university achieved and then bumped up to a target of 35% by 2020. Penn State accomplished this goal last year and continues to move towards renewable energy.

Earlier this fall, Penn State formed a new task force that will work to continue reducing the university’s carbon emissions.

Penn State previously aimed to reduce greenhouse gas outputs to levels 80% lower than in 1990 by 2050, but a newly formed Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force is pushing for a more aggressive target and a different timeframe.

Additionally, architectural engineering professor James Freihaut was also recognized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe Committee on Sustainable Energy for his work to improve sustainability and safety in buildings. Freihaut has helped to develop a framework to increase energy efficiency, educate about sustainable building, and ways to reduce the global carbon footprint.

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About the Author

Mackenna Yount

Mackenna is a junior food science major from Manitou Springs, Colorado, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She loves food, is addicted to coffee, and can give you random facts or bad jokes that you didn't ask for. Ask her to bake gluten-free goodies so she has an excuse to try out new cupcake flavors. Mackenna can be contacted via Twitter @mackennayount (especially if you want to show off your best dad jokes) or you can shoot her an email at [email protected].

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