EPA Recognizes Washington College Among Nation’s Leading Green Power Users

    October 11, 2021

    Washington College announced that it has been invited to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, for its commitment to purchase solar energy. During the reduced campus operations of the pandemic, Washington College purchased enough green power to meet 100% percent of the organization's annual electricity use. Its investment in green power represents a significant portion of ongoing energy use into the future. By choosing green power, Washington College is helping advance the voluntary market for green power and development of those sources.

    Washington College purchases energy from off-site solar photovoltaics in partnership with Greenbacker Capital.

    "The solar purchase agreement is an important step forward for Washington College, as one part of an overall sustainability plan,” said John Seidel, Director, Center for Environment and Society. “Reducing our global carbon footprint has never been more critical. We are grateful for this recognition from EPA and pledge to continue this effort - our students and community expect this of us, and it's simply the right thing to do."

    By moving the needle in the voluntary green power market, Washington College and other Green Power Partners are helping to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain, and regional haze.

    According to the U.S. EPA, Washington College’s green power use is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually.

    Washington College is committed to supporting the health of the planet and the people who inhabit it. Its newest building, Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, achieved the Living Building Challenge through thoughtful design and use of building materials, generating over 100% of the energy that it uses at full occupancy. As part of its sustainability efforts, the College promotes refillable water bottle stations, electric vehicle charging, and has partnered with ShoreRivers to implement stormwater catchment practices. A student garden hosts an apiary and demonstration composting site, which underscores the campus’ Tree Campus Higher Ed and Bee Campus USA certifications.

    "While we can design new buildings like Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, which produce more electricity than they consume, our older buildings will always present a challenge,” add Seidel. “This solar purchase is one way for us to lower our footprint, even with older infrastructure.”

    Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

    About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

    The Green Power Partnership is a partnership 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. In 2020, the Partnership had more than 700 Partners voluntarily using nearly 70 billion 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. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.