Southwestern University has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership program.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to help support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide while also helping protect the environment. The Partnership currently has more than 1,200 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing 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.

Southwestern qualified for the program by signing an agreement in January 2010 to fill all of its electricity needs from wind power for the next 18 years. Southwestern is the first university in Texas to have all its electricity supplied by wind power, and one of fewer than 20 universities in the country, according to the EPA.

The EPA says Southwestern’s yearly green power purchase of more than 17 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 2,000 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually.

Southwestern’s windpower purchase also qualifies the university for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA’s minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase 10 times the partnership’s minimum requirement organization-wide.

For more information on Southwestern’s sustainability efforts, visit


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