The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its list Wednesday of universities that are voluntarily powering their operations from renewable sources, but no Florida higher-education institutions made the cut.
The Green Power Challenge 2012-2013 Single Green Power User winner was Ohio State University, that purchased 141,000,000 kWh of renewable energy.
The Challenge also awards a conference champion, which went to OSUs Big Ten conference with 316,635,114 kWh of annual purchases.
The Green Power Challenge, now in its seventh year, is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences, that choose to join. EPA defines green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact small hydro-electric sources.
Universities from the Southeast, a region which lacks renewable power incentives mandated by other states around the country, were mostly missing from the list. No Florida school was included.
The only university in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), of which the University of Florida is a part, was the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers made it into the Top 10 individual schools list. The SEC ranked ninth on the best conferences list.
Meanwhile, down at No. 29 was Florida State University and University of Miamis conference -- the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The ACC only had Maryland and Clemson make a showing.
We applaud the leadership demonstrated by organizations that are helping reduce carbon pollution and spur the growth of clean, American-made energy sources by increasing their use of renewable energy, said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe.
The EPA also released the top companies that are utilizing green power. Intel took home that grand prize.
According to EPA, Intel Corporation continues to top the list, using green power to cover 100 percent of its electricity load. Microsoft Corporation moved into second place by increasing its green power use to more than 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. Apple Inc., new to the Top 50 list, ranks No. 10 with 85 percent of its nationwide electricity now coming from green power.
The top 10 partners appearing on the Top 50 list include:
1. Intel Corp.
2. Microsoft Corp.
3. Kohls Department Stores
4. Whole Foods Market
5. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
6. U.S. Department of Energy
8. Starbucks Company-Owned Stores
9. Lockheed Martin Corp.
10. Apple Inc.
Anne Smith writes special to Sunshine State News.