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EPA Sustainability Honor Awarded to University Solar Plant

Cal Poly is one of six national organizations to receive this award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Cal Poly’s commitment to environmental sustainability, as it marches toward a carbon-neutral future, was recognized with a trio of national and state awards.

Cal Poly is among only six organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for direct project engagement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The awards were presented in late September.

The university currently generates more than 10 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually from its on-site solar energy systems — enough to power more than 1,000 homes, or about 25 percent of the campus’s total power needs

The EPA recognizes the Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. This type of energy is a subset of renewable sources — solar, wind, geothermal and small hydroelectric energy — and represents the resources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit.  

Green Power Partners distinguish themselves through on- and off-site projects using a variety of financing structures to access renewable energy certificate (REC)-based green power. At the end of 2019, the group included more than 1,400 partner organizations, including colleges and universities; local, state and federal governments; and Fortune 500 firms.

“EPA is proud to recognize California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo as a winner of the Direct Project Engagement Award for 2020,” said Matt Clouse, chief of EPA’s Energy Supply and Industry Branch and a 20-year agency veteran. “As we celebrate the 20th year of Green Power Leadership Awards, Cal Poly’s commitment to using green power demonstrates that environmental leadership goes hand-in-hand with business performance.”

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