Thursday, February 3, 2022

The University of Iowa, which recently became a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partner, is recognized on several of the EPA’s Top Green Power Partner Lists.

Iowa is ranked No. 3 on the Top 30 College & University List of the largest green power users—the highest ranking among the six Big Ten universities on the list. To achieve this ranking, Iowa uses more than 251 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which represents 73 percent of its operations’ total electricity needs.

Thanks to Iowa’s innovative and robust biomass program, the university also is recognized on the EPA’s Top 30 On-Site Generation List, ranked No. 4 among all colleges and universities, and placing it among companies like Apple, General Motors, and Walmart. Iowa also ranked No. 60 on the Nation’s Top 100 List.

“This is a huge honor for the University of Iowa and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” says Stratis Giannakouros, director of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment. “Using and generating green power is a sound business decision and reflects the university’s commitment to further sustainability in all that we do.”

Iowa’s ranking on the EPA’s Top Power Partner Lists recognizes the university’s long history of innovation and achievement in developing and using alternative fuels to generate steam for heating and cooling campus buildings. This work has propelled Iowa toward meeting its Zero Coal by 2025 goal by exploring innovative biomass alternatives in its power plant like oat hulls, miscanthus grass, and energy pellets. The university’s commitment to green power provides energy security and creates economic value for the state by locally sourcing alternative fuels when possible. 

Iowa is working with its energy delivery partner, the University of Iowa Energy Collaborative, to continue making strides in generating green power. Since 2020, the University of Iowa Energy Collaborative has carried forward the important UI work of optimizing operations to enable the Power Plant boilers to utilize additional renewable fuels.

“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, program manager of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “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.”

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use.