A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Campus Recognized by EPA for Green Power

April 23, 2013

UC Merced has reduced its carbon footprint by using green power generated on site, an achievement being recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has named UC Merced a Green Power Partner.

The campus uses more than 2 million kilowatt hours of solar energy each year, all generated by the Sun Power solar farm on campus land. That’s enough to meet 14 percent of the campus’s electricity use.

It’s also equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 300 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 200 average American homes annually, the EPA said.

“This is a huge honor and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” campus Director of Energy and Sustainability Zuhair Mased said. “Using green power helps our university become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk.”

Using solar power is only one of the many ways UC Merced strives to meet its Triple Zero Commitment to consume zero net energy through efficiency and renewable energy production; to produce zero landfill waste by reducing excess consumption and recycling to the maximum extent feasible; and to produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions by preventing as much carbon emission as it produces.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership has more than 1,400 partner organizations that purchase 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.