9-23-2013

Contact: Lindsay Komlanc, 614-292-2041

Ohio State receives Green Power Partner of the Year award from U.S. EPA

Wind-power purchase makes Ohio State a leading green power user among universities

The Ohio State University is one of only four organizations nationwide to be chosen as a Green Power Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market.

Ohio State is projected to receive 141 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind energy annually, which is enough green power to meet 25 percent of the university’s overall electricity use. The 50 megawatts (MW) of wind power generation capacity was purchased from the Blue Creek Wind Farm, located in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio.

"We are committed to incorporating sustainability into all facets of the university," said Jay Kasey, senior vice president of Administration and Planning at Ohio State. "In addition to initiatives in academics and research, we know we need to lead by example and ensure our operations are sustainable, which means looking at how we build our buildings, ensuring those buildings are as energy efficient as possible, and looking at how we can be more sustainable in how we power our university."

Ohio State is ranked No. 3 on EPA's Top 20 College & University list. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners using the most renewable energy annually as of July 3, 2013.

"Receiving the Green Power Partner of the Year award is a great honor and EPA applauds The Ohio State University’s leadership and impact on the green power market," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Ohio State's commitment to using green power and reducing its climate impacts provides a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability."

According to the EPA, Ohio State's green power purchase of 141 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 21,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 15,000 average American homes annually.

In addition to the wind power purchase, Ohio State completed work on more than 400 geothermal wells this past summer, which will reduce the university's energy consumption by providing an estimated 31 percent of the heating and cooling demands of the university’s south district residence halls. The university also began installing energy conservation measures in five buildings that are among the largest consumers of energy on campus. These buildings account for less than 8 percent of the university’s total building space, but more than 12 percent of the energy consumption. The project is anticipated to reduce the energy utilization index of these buildings by an average of 30 percent. The university's Stone Laboratory also installed fifty photovoltaic panels at its Gibraltar Island research facility on Lake Erie. The solar panels produce about 12 kilowatts (KW) and will provide an estimated 10 to 25 percent of the Lab’s electricity needs.

About The Ohio State University
Ohio State is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.