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Oct. 21: Carnegie Mellon Honored With EPA's Green Power Leadership Award

Contact: Carnegie Mellon University / Jocelyn Duffy / 412-268-9982  /
U.S. EPA / Allison Dennis / 202-343-9526 /

Carnegie Mellon Honored With EPA's Green Power Leadership Award

University Ranks Among Top 10 Purchasers of Renewable Energy in U.S.

Green PowerPITTSBURGH—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has honored Carnegie Mellon University with its 2010 Green Power Leadership Award. This marks the first time that Carnegie Mellon has received the distinguished leadership award, which recognizes the country's leading green power purchasers for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation's voluntary green power market. The EPA presented Carnegie Mellon with the award at the 2010 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Oregon.

"We are honored to receive this award, and fully appreciate the positive role that universities such as ours can play by focusing both resources and research on renewable energy sources and new energy technologies. Energy and the environment represent one of Carnegie Mellon's strategic initiatives. Our students and faculty are committed to achieving sustainability and helping provide real world solutions to the world's environmental challenges through research, education and concrete actions," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon.

Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for Air and Radiation at the EPA said, "By using green power, Carnegie Mellon University is leading the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment while helping advance the market for renewable energy."

According to the EPA, green power is electricity that is generated from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydropower. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while offering a superior environmental profile compared to traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.

This year, Carnegie Mellon is one of only 10 organizations nationwide, including corporations, government organizations and universities, to receive a Leadership Award in the Green Power Purchase category. EPA Green Power Partners distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier. Carnegie Mellon purchases nearly 87 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 75 percent of the university's purchased electricity use. Carnegie Mellon's current green power purchase is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 12,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the amount of electricity needed to power nearly 8,000 average American homes annually.

Carnegie Mellon buys its renewable energy credits from Community Energy and Constellation NewEnergy and generates solar power on-site for a campus office building on South Craig Street and the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace, a living laboratory continually being updated to feature advanced systems, components and green materials.

This award further underscores Carnegie Mellon's commitment to sustainability. The university strives to educate its community about the challenges the world faces with increasing energy consumption and tackles these challenges through its business practices and in its curriculum. For several years, Carnegie Mellon has made the study of environmental sciences and the deployment of sustainable practices a university-wide priority. Carnegie Mellon buildings house several green roofs and the university is home to Stever House, the first green university dormitory in the United States. It has 10 LEED certified building projects and presented the first course in green chemistry. Research at the university seeks to find answers to some of the most pressing problems facing the environment through projects in a wide array of fields, including carbon sequestration, green chemistry, alternative energy and sustainable design. Its Green Practices Committee was established to develop a comprehensive system of waste reduction and energy conservation.

Carnegie Mellon currently ranks second on the EPA's Top 20 College and University list of Green Power Partners. EPA updates its rankings quarterly at Sierra Magazine also rated Carnegie Mellon one of its "Cool Schools" in 2007.

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Pictured above, Martin Altschul, a CMU engineer, accepted an EPA Green Power Leadership Award from Elizabeth Craig, deputy administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, during the Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Ore.