Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center released a new report today that ranks small liberal arts colleges, large public universities and community colleges across the country in key energy sustainability metrics. The report identifies more than 40 colleges and universities that currently obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources and highlights others with impressive commitments and plans to move in that direction, including the University of Arizona.
“Colleges and universities aren’t just educators,” said Emma Searson, 100% Renewable Campuses campaign director at Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center. “They are also innovators and leaders in their communities, especially when it comes to clean and renewable energy. The renewable energy projects that the University of Arizona has planned in partnership with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) are great examples of how institutions of higher learning can show us all the way toward a cleaner, healthier future.”
America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020: Who’s Leading the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy on Campus? touts the University of Arizona’s renewable energy agreement with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) as an example for others to emulate. The deal is the largest ever made between a university and a utility company in the state and means that TEP will dedicate portions of two new renewable energy projects to the university: a solar-plus-storage system southeast of Tucson and a wind farm in New Mexico. With these new projects, TEP expects to generate more than 28 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2021.
"I am incredibly honored that the University of Arizona has been recognized as a leader in the transition to 100% renewable energy," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "As the state of Arizona's land-grant university, we are committed to being at the forefront of climate action. Through this agreement, we are taking an ambitious step toward our goal of achieving carbon neutrality."
Trevor Ledbetter, director of the UArizona Office of Sustainability, said, "Higher educational institutions like the University of Arizona are central to addressing the global climate crisis, not only from a research framework but also through collective action and the exploration of novel partnerships. We are extremely proud to receive this recognition from Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center and look forward to continuing our work to transition toward a sustainable, just society and economy."
In addition to featuring eight schools that have adopted ambitious renewable energy commitments for the future, the report also ranks campuses that have already made the most progress in shifting to renewable electricity, repowering buildings with clean energy, and adopting electric vehicles.
“We look forward to continuing to work with campuses and other key institutions, including the Arizona Corporation Commission,to make sure Arizona leads in the race to 100 percent clean and renewable energy,” said Searson.
Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces.