2014 Green Power Leadership Awards
By Jared Blumenfeld
Today, I was in Sacramento, Calif., to present EPA’s Green Power Leadership Awards. By showing leadership in buying and using green power, as well as making it more widely available, today’s honorees are building a cleaner and brighter future while helping to strengthen the economy.
Since its inception in 2001, the Green Power Partnership has engaged with all types of organizations—Fortune 500 companies, cities, academic institutions, nonprofits and others—to encourage them to voluntarily use more green power. The partnership now has more than 1,300 partners using billions of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually.
These organizations go the extra mile in growing the green power market. For example, the City of Las Vegas—awarded for generating green power on-site–recently installed 3.3 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels at its wastewater treatment facility. It’s the largest project of its type in the region. The installation saves Las Vegas approximately $600,000 per year and stabilizes the cost of power needed to run the facility. Cities in Oregon, Texas, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Tennessee also got awards for their green power projects.
Outdoor gear retailer REI has opted to use 100 percent renewable energy not just in its 140 stores, but also in its headquarters and two distribution centers, helping the retailer win one of the awards for Green Power Purchasing.
The Partners of the Year go even further. Oklahoma State University’s campus in Stillwater leveraged its 25-year power purchase agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) to develop a community based, 26-turbine wind farm. The OSU Cowboys are now powered by the “Cowboy” Wind Farm, located near Blackwell, Oklahoma.
The two awardees for Sustained Excellence in Green Power – Intel Corporation and Kohl’s Department Stores – set an example with their outstanding initiatives. Intel uses a combination of on-site solar projects (which generate nearly 10 million kWh of electricity annually), renewable energy certificates and solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations. Kohl’s uses 100 percent renewable energy from on-site solar and wind projects. Its 20-year solar power purchase agreement for its solar locations demonstrates its long-term vision for using green power.
The Green Power Suppliers of the Year honored today are also an important part of the equation. These four companies— 3Degrees Group, Inc., Portland General Electric, Renewable Choice Energy and Washington Gas Energy Services—are helping to make green power more accessible, and providing innovative solutions that fit customers’ needs.
In 2013, President Obama announced the Climate Action Plan to help reduce carbon pollution. Together these Green Power Leadership Award winners are doing their part to grow the nation’s green power market and help reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts associated with climate change.
The Green Power Leadership Awards are sponsored by EPA in collaboration with the Center for Resource Solutions. Learn more about these green power leaders and the rest of the award winners.
Jared Blumenfeld is the Regional Administrator for U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region.
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