The University of St. Thomas for the first time today appears on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 20 College and University list of the largest purchasers of green power.
At No. 20, St. Thomas is the only Minnesota college or university to make the list. The only other school in the five-state area on the list is the University of Wisconsin, at No. 12. Wisconsin purchases 69.8 million kWh of wind-generated electricity, or 15 percent of its total annual use. St. Thomas purchases 32.9 million kWh of wind-generated electricity, or 82 percent of its total annual use.
The list can be found here.
St. Thomas is the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the history of Windsource. The voluntary green-energy program of Xcel Energy, Windsource enables organizations and individuals to support the production of renewable energy above and beyond state mandates.
In April, the EPA recognized St. Thomas as the 2012-2013 conference champion for using more green power than any other college or university in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
In 2008 St. Thomas signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. That year the university adopted a Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2035 and to pursue green, sustainable and energy-efficient strategies for all new building projects.
According to the EPA, the amount of wind energy purchased by St. Thomas is equivalent to avoiding the annual carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 5,000 cars or more than 3,000 average American homes.
At an Earth Day event this spring, Xcel Energry presented St. Thomas with an award and a model of a wind turbine, and students and faculty celebrated with ice cream and Lil’ Dutch Maid Almond Windmill Cookies.