Michigan Technological University’s commitment to renewable energy has been recognized by inclusion in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership.
As of 2013, Michigan Tech has been purchasing electricity from the Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative (WPMC) headquartered in Cadillac, Michigan, in an effort to reduce utility costs on campus. In June 2017, Michigan Tech committed to purchase 50% of all electricity used on campus from renewable wind sources. This commitment stands through December 2025.
Larry Hermanson, the University’s director of energy management, said Michigan Tech is one of five universities in the 22-member WPMC. “This was a choice the University made,” Hermanson said. “We use about 36 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Eighteen million kilowatts are wind power.”
While Michigan Tech has been purchasing renewable electricity from WPMC for less than two years, CO2 emissions have already been reduced by more than 20,000 tons.
A Superstar in Renewable Energy
Hermanson said the University’s commitment to wind power led some in the industry to consider Michigan Tech a “superstar” in the area of renewable energy. In February, that commitment was recognized by the EPA, which led to Michigan Tech’s invitation to join the agency's Green Power Partnership (GPP).
GPP was established in 2001 to protect human health and the environment by increasing member organizations’ voluntary green power use, to advance the American market for green power and the development of renewable electricity sources. The GPP has more than 1,700 member organizations using billions of kilowatt hours of green power annually. Michigan Tech is one of only three GPP colleges and universities in Michigan.
While membership in the GPP was not something Michigan Tech necessarily sought out, Hermanson said the recognition by the EPA is important to the University. “We made the renewable choice based on economics and a desire to be a leader in sustainability. The GPP recognition helps to show that we are a leader in sustainability among Michigan universities.”
More information on the University's relationship with the GPP can be found on the Michigan Tech Facilities Management website.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.