Northwestern University was recognized as a champion in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) College and University Green Power Challenge. The award recognizes Northwestern as well as the Big Ten Conference for having six participating schools who collectively used the most green power among all conferences.
Northwestern voluntarily purchases more than 122 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 50 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage -- equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 11,200 average American homes annually.
The University generates some of its own green power from a solar photovoltaic array on the roof of the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. The 16.8-kilowatt panel display has the potential to generate as much as 20,000 kWh of electricity per year. The amount generated on campus is expected to increase every year as new solar arrays are installed on campus.
Northwestern also works to reduce the environmental impact of energy consumption on campus through a partnership with ENERGY STAR®, an EPA program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency. The University uses the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool to track energy use in buildings and identify opportunities to improve efficiency.
In addition, when improving facilities or planning for new construction, energy efficiency and sustainability are key considerations. Since 2010, Northwestern’s efforts have resulted in an impressive savings of 146,288,182 kBtu, resulting in 11 national awards.
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