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The US Environmental Protection Agency has named UT Knoxville the top school in the Southeastern Conference in its Green Power Challenge.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership tracked the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation for this academic year.

In addition to being named SEC champs, UT was also ranked eleventh out of the EPA’s Top 30 College & University Green Power Users.

UT was honored for having the largest individual green power purchase among all the schools in the Southeastern Conference. To be listed, a conference must have at least one Green Power Partner and an aggregate green power purchase of at least 10,000,000 kilowatt-hours across the conference.

The university’s annual green power usage in kWh is 80,020,000, which is generated by solar, biogas, small hydroelectric, and wind resources. The Tennessee Valley Authority is UT’s main green power provider and on-site generation also adds to the total green power generated.

UT’s green power commitment was born from a student-led initiative to create a new student fee dedicated to the purchase of green power.

The fee, which was implemented in 2005, pays for UT’s annual green power purchase as well as for campus environmental initiatives from recycling to energy conservation.

“Our green power ranking is a tribute to our students and their commitment to sustainability,” said Facilities Services Associate Vice Chancellor Dave Irvin.

The green power purchase also has given UT an opportunity to communicate with both internal and external audiences about the importance of environmental stewardship, Irvin said.


Brooke Stevenson (