These wind turbines at the Buffalo Ridge Wind Farm, near Lake Benton in southwestern Minnesota, send energy to Xcel customers, including the University of St. Thomas.

St. Thomas Wins EPA 'Green Power' Award for Third-Consecutive Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently recognized the University of St. Thomas as the 2013-2014 conference champion for using more green power than any other college or university in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It was the third-consecutive year St. Thomas won the award.

St. Thomas won the EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge by using 34.1 million kilowatt hours of green power in 2013.

According to the EPA, 87.1 percent of the electric power used on the university’s St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses was purchased from Xcel Energy’s Windsource program.

The nearly 33 million kilowatt hours of wind-generated power used by St. Thomas is equivalent to reducing nearly 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually. It also is equivalent to the annual output of five large wind turbines or taking 5,380 passenger vehicles off the road.

And after studying the electric motors that power the 2,786-pipe Gabriel Kney organ in the university’s Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, Windsource engineers calculated that the amount of wind energy the university purchases each year would be enough to perform Bach’s 15-minute Toccata and Fugue in D minor a total of 1,323,364 times.