The University of Oklahoma (OU), located in Norman, is a regional leader and role model for other large public universities, setting a national example for green power use. In September 2008, in concert with the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), OU and the Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (OG&E) signed a historic agreement to purchase 100 percent of the university's OG&E-supplied electricity from renewable resources by 2013. This agreement was critical in enabling the development of the 101-megawatt OU Spirit Wind Farm in Woodward, Oklahoma, which now supplies electricity to the university and to customers across the state. The infrastructure (i.e., transmission lines and substations) created by the agreement has expanded OG&E's ability to provide renewable electricity to other customers.
As the first institution in Oklahoma to sign the ACUPCC, the school played a pioneering role in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As of January 2013, one hundred percent of OU’s purchased power comes from wind, setting a standard for other large state schools. In conjunction with its green power use, OU is undertaking a myriad of energy efficiency upgrades such as installing occupancy sensors for classroom lighting and retrofitting existing buildings, as well as developing water-efficient restroom facilities and instituting a campus-wide recycling program. OU has also launched an Advanced Metering Infrastructure program to customize and manage energy demand across campus. All of OU’s electric use is monitored by smart meters.
At the same time, OU is reaching out to stakeholders interested in green power options through its website, press releases, and social media, and the school plans to host green energy tours both on campus and at the OU Spirit Wind Farm. Students, faculty, and staff are engaged in the school’s sustainability work through the Crimson and Green campaign, which champions OU’s efforts in energy efficiency, wind power, green roofs, recycling, and other environmental actions and encourages campus-wide participation.