Release Date: March 9, 2006
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Imagine wiping 1,500 cars -- and all their fossil fuel emissions -- right off the road.
That's equivalent to what the University at Buffalo has accomplished as a major green power purchaser, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which just named UB one of its Top 10 College and University Green Power Partners.
The ranking honors UB's annual wind-power purchase of 12,000 megawatt hours of electricity, equaling six percent of the university's annual electricity consumption.
The U.S. EPA list is its first to recognize the nation's Top 10 college and university green power purchasers.
UB ranks No. 10 in the nation and it's the only State University of New York campus on the list. Other schools on the list include Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Pennsylvania State University.
"This Top 10 list is a robust list of marquee American colleges and universities that are buying significant amounts of green power," said Blaine Collison, program director for the EPA's Green Power Partnership. "We are delighted to see how the University at Buffalo is driving demand for new, renewable-energy power plants through their voluntary green power purchases."
UB President John B. Simpson said "UB's investment in green power is an investment in our global future.
"One of the critical functions of any research university," he noted, "is to develop pioneering alternatives and solutions that address issues of national and global consequence, and in seeking out renewable energy resources and implementing environmentally sustainable alternatives, UB is committed to addressing one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century."
Simpson added, "UB is very proud to be ranked with other colleges and universities in the nation who share our commitment to environmental leadership and conservation of our world's natural resources, and we hope to inspire many others to join us."
For its purchase of wind power, UB was named 2004 "Environmentalist of the Year" by Environmental Advocates of New York.
The UB wind energy purchase was facilitated greatly by Executive Order No. 111, which Gov. George Pataki issued in June 2001, directing state agencies, authorities, SUNY and other state entities to be more energy-efficient and environmentally aware. The order mandates that 10 percent of the electricity consumed by state agencies be from "green" renewable sources by 2005 and 20 percent by 2010.
In 2003, Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue visited UB to praise the university for its commitment to becoming the leading purchaser of wind-generated electricity in the state.
According to Michael Dupre, associate vice president for university facilities, UB's decision to purchase wind energy was natural, since the university has been applying the principles of energy conservation to campus operations since the late 1970s and has been recognized consistently as a leader in conserving energy.
Other energy-conserving accomplishments at UB include:
-- A large, comprehensive energy-retrofit project for its South (Main Street) Campus. A similar project on the North Campus in the 1990s resulted in annual energy savings of more than $3 million for UB. The project is expected to produce utility bill savings of at least $1.2 million per year, while reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions on campus.
-- Construction of Western New York's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified green building as designated by the U.S. Green Building Council
-- Incorporation of numerous energy efficiency and green building design features in the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences
-- A collaborative effort with other state agencies to produce UB's High Performance Building Guidelines, which direct green-building design for new construction at UB and other parts of the state.
-- A substantial solar-power project at UB, funded in part by the New York State Energy Research and Development Administration, slated to open next fall
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York.