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Lewis & Clark named conference champion in EPA’s Green Power Challenge

May 17, 2012

  • An aerial view of campus shows a solar panel system on the roof of the Pamplin Sports Center.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that Lewis & Clark is the 2011-2012 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Northwest Conference.

Since April 2006, the EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.

Lewis & Clark beat its conference rivals by using more than 12 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Lewis & Clark purchases a utility green power product from Portland General Electric, helping to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.

According to the U.S. EPA, Lewis & Clark’s green power use of more than 12 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 2,000 passenger vehicles per year. The Northwest Conference’s collective green power purchase of more than 25 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes, or the annual CO2 emissions of more than 3,000 passenger vehicles.

Thirty collegiate conferences and 73 schools competed in the 2011-2012 challenge, collectively purchasing more than 1.8 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a seventh year, to conclude in spring of 2013. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. In order to qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least one school that qualifies as a Green Power Partner, and the conference must collectively purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power.

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

Also, you may be interested in PGE’s Green Source option at home. You can offset 100 percent of your electricity use by purchasing renewable energy. It’s only about $9 more a month and really easy to make the switch through PGE’s website.