Luther College has announced that, as part of its ongoing commitment to using green power, it's now participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. Luther College's growing use of green power-more than four million kilowatt-hours of green power in the 2011-2012 academic year-is enough to meet 28 percent of the campus' electricity use.
This summer, Luther installed the largest solar photovoltaic array in Iowa.
The 280KW solar field will power a 100 plus student residential housing complex that uses geothermal energy to heat and cool the facility.
Last fall, Luther College installed a 1.6 megawatt wind turbine. These investments demonstrate Luther's proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives
"We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Richard Torgerson, the President of Luther College. "Green power helps Luther 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."
Green power is electricity generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
"EPA is excited to welcome Luther College as a Green Power Partner and applauds the school's commitment to using renewable energy," said Blaine Collison, Director of EPA's Green Power Partnership. "Luther College is helping to reduce harmful air pollution and should serve as an example for other schools seeking to invest in environmental progress."
Luther purchases green power from Luther College Wind Energy Project, LLC and also from Wind Vision, LLC, which owns a single turbine community wind project in St. Ansgar. Wind Vision was founded in 2005 and is located in Waukon. The company specializes in engineering services.
According to the U.S. EPA, Luther College's green power purchase of more than four million kWh from June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012 is equivalent to avoiding the annual carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 600 passenger vehicles or the electricity use of more than 400 average American homes.
Luther College recently received the 2012 Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature. It was also one of eight colleges across the country to receive an "A" on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.