As the University of Michigan works toward procuring 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized U-M as a top user of green power.
The university ranks eighth on the Green Power Partnership’s quarterly Top 30 College & University List and 89th on its National Top 100 List.
U-M recently joined the Green Power Partnership, which strives to increase green power use among American organizations and spur the green power market. The program includes nearly 700 member organizations, including corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, municipalities, and colleges and universities.
“Meaningful climate action requires a cross-sector approach, which is why we’re proud to be recognized among so many leading institutions by the EPA,” said Drew Horning, interim assistant vice president for campus sustainability. “We look forward to expanding our renewable power usage in the years to come, and pursuing just and equitable strategies that further reduce our carbon impact.”
Last year, U-M purchased more than 148 million kilowatt-hours of green power, which the EPA estimates is equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 14,000 average American homes. Approximately 21% of university energy use comes from renewable sources.
The Ann Arbor campus currently procures approximately half of its purchased electricity from renewable sources, largely due to the 2021 launch of three Michigan-based wind parks.
“This list of the largest users of green power across the nation is proof that good business practices can also benefit the environment,” said James Critchfield, the partnership’s program manager. “EPA applauds the leading organizations in the Green Power Partnership’s Top Partner Rankings for their notable commitment to expanding their use of green power and protecting the environment.”
In addition to purchasing renewably sourced electricity, U-M aims to install up to 25 megawatts of solar photovoltaic infrastructure across all of its campuses and expects to issue a call for preliminary proposals in the coming weeks.
Efforts toward universitywide carbon neutrality continue to move forward. In December 2022, the U-M Office of Investments announced that avoided greenhouse gas emissions from U-M investments in 2023 are on track to exceed Ann Arbor campus emissions.
In November 2022, U-M assumed leadership of the University Climate Change Coalition, which convenes 23 leading North American universities working toward climate action — on campus, in communities and globally.
In addition, the university announced a partnership with Delta Air Lines to help spur the availability and widespread adoption of sustainable aviation fuel.