BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo is the 14th largest
green power user among U.S. colleges and universities, according to
new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rankings.
UB bought more than 44 million kilowatt-hours of green power,
about 20 percent of the university's electricity usage, for the
2011-12 academic year. That's up from 22 million kilowatt-hours, or
roughly 10 percent, in 2009-10, an indication that UB is moving
toward reaching its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030.
In fact, with the opening the new 3,200-panel Solar Strand on
UB's North Campus and additional renewable energy purchases about
30 percent of the university's power will be coming from renewable
UB's 2011-12 purchase is equivalent to avoiding a year's worth
of carbon dioxide emissions from nearly 6,000 passenger vehicles,
according to the EPA's Green Power Partnership program, which
tracks the use of green power among 73 institutes of higher
Well ahead of its peers in the Mid-American Conference, UB was
named Individual Conference Champion by the EPA.
"EPA applauds the University at Buffalo as the Mid-American
Conference Champion in this year's College and University Green
Power Challenge, as well as its appearance on the national Top 20
College & University list," said Blaine Collison, director of
EPA's Green Power Partnership. "By both purchasing renewable
electricity and generating it onsite, the University at Buffalo is
actively reducing its carbon footprint and setting an example for
others to follow."
UB President Satish K. Tripathi said the award underscores the
university's efforts to promote renewable energy and improve energy
efficiency both on and off its three campuses.
"We are honored to be recognized by the EPA as a leading campus
purchaser of green power, and we are especially grateful for the
EPA's appreciation for the critical role our nation's colleges and
universities play in developing and implementing environmentally
sustainable solutions for the 21st century," he said. "At the
University at Buffalo, our longstanding commitment to fostering a
sustainable campus climate is integral to our mission of research
and educational excellence -- and to helping us building stronger,
more vibrant communities, locally as well as globally."
In 2007, UB was among the first 150 institutions of higher
learning to pledge to reduce or offset all of its greenhouse gas
emissions by signing the American College and University
Presidents' Climate Commitment. The pact, now signed by 675
colleges and universities, requires the signatories to make an
inventory of their carbon emissions and create a plan to make each
campus climate neutral.
UB has a 6,300-square-foot solar panel installation on the roof
of Norton Hall, a student services building on its North Campus,
which can generate up to 73.5 kilowatts of electricity. The
university also purchases renewable energy, primarily wind power,
which is produced in the Buffalo Niagara region and
The university's green power portfolio grew April 23, when New
York Power Authority and UB officials flipped the switch on
750-kilowatt solar array on the North Campus. Designed by
world-renowned landscape architect Walter Hood and funded by the
New York Power Authority, the Solar Strand measures 140 feet across
and is approximately a quarter-mile long. The Solar Strand not only
provides power, but is also a demonstration project intended to
test and advance development of solar technologies in New York
State and beyond for years to come.
UB is also finding innovative ways to reduce its electricity
consumption. Last August it opened Greiner Hall, a student
residence building that was designed "Gold" under the U.S. Green
Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
rating system. The building has high-efficiency lighting, low-flow
faucets and other environment-friendly features.
Greiner Hall is one of six structures designed to earn LEED
certification, the standard for green building. The other
facilities opened or soon to open on UB's three campuses are
Barbara and Jack Davis Hall, an engineering building; UB's Clinical
and Translational Research Center, which occupies the top floors of
the new UB-Kaleida Health medical research building; Crossroads
Culinary Center; John and Editha Kapoor Hall, a pharmacy building;
and the Educational Opportunity Center.
As a result of these efforts, UB has been able cut carbon
emissions by 23 percent during the past 10 years. During the same
time, university facilities' square footage grew nearly 7
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that
encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the
environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The
partnership currently has more than 1,300 partner organizations
voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power
annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations
such as Fortune 500 companies, small- and medium-sized businesses,
local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and
universities. For additional information, visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
For more information about EPA's College and University Green
Power Challenge, visit the Challenge website at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.