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Healthcare provider UPMC has purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) from Pennsylvania wind power to equal the entire annual energy usage from its data centers.

According to UPMC, the company purchased 15,400 RECs generated by wind projects in Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh-based EverPower Wind Holdings. This purchase equates to 15,400,000 kWh of renewable electricity, accounting for 100% of the annual electricity usage by the company's corporate and Shadyside data centers.

The so-called greening of the company's data centers follows three years of efforts by UPMC to decrease the overall power consumption at the sites using advanced cooling methods and consolidation of computer systems, notes the company. The health system, a $10 billion global health enterprise with more than 55,000 employees headquartered in Pittsburgh- became the first in Pennsylvania to make such a commitment for its data facilities.

The REC purchase was greatly aided by ChoosePAWind, an initiative aimed to encourage energy consumers in the state to power their businesses and homes with energy from Pennsylvania wind farms, including those from EverPower.

In its second year, ChoosePAWind is designed to increase awareness of Pennsylvania’s wind industry and inform energy buyers about the options available to choose clean, renewable energy generated in Pennsylvania for their homes and businesses. Currently, ChoosePAWind lists 19 companies running on Pennsylvania wind energy, including six located in Pittsburgh.

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