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Green Power Planet Newsletter

Green Power Planet #31
December 17, 2010

In this edition of the Green Power Planet:

  • Green Power Partnership Hits 1,300th Partner Milestone
  • Reminder: GPP Purchase Requirement Changes, Revised “New” Requirement
  • GPP Featured in Newsweek’s Green Rankings Issue; 2011 Advertising Supplement Opportunity
  • Green Power Community Challenge Rankings Updated
    • March GPC Challenge Update Reminder
  • GPP Recognizes 18 Partners with Green Power Leadership Awards
  • GPP Releases Discussion Draft on the  Environmental Value of Purchasing RECs
  • November Top Partner Rankings
    • January Top Partner List Update Reminder
  • GPP: A Year In Review
  • Partner Spotlight – Philadelphia Eagles
  • College & University Challenge Rankings Updated
    • January College & University Challenge Update Reminder
  • Report Studies Use of Green Power by ACUPCC Signatories
  • NREL Releases 2009 Green Power Markets Status Report

Green Power Partnership Hits 1,300th Partner Milestone

EPA’s Green Power Partnership welcomed its 1,300th Partner into the program this month. Since 2001, the Partnership has grown from 23 Founding Partners to a nationwide group of environmental leaders from a wide variety of sectors and 48 states, plus the District of Columbia.

GPP would like to extend a special welcome to the following 47 organizations that have recently joined the Partnership (as of December 2, 2010).

Ag. & Natural Resources: Emory Knoll Farms (Md.)

Automotive: Toyota Motor Sales / TLS Portland Vehicle Distribution Center (Ore.)

Chemical: Dow Chemical Specialty Packaging & Films (Ohio)

Consulting Srvcs.: Straughan Environmental, Inc. (Md.), Kessler Consulting, Inc. (Fla.)

Consumer Products: Remains Lighting / Brooklyn Facility (N.Y.), The Green Glass Company (Wis.)

Education (Higher): Philadelphia University (Penn.), DePaul University (Ill.), University of Maryland (Md.), Paul Smith’s College (N.Y.)

Food & Beverage: Coda Coffee (Colo.), Del Monte Foods / California Operations (Calif.)

Govt. (Federal): U.S. General Services Administration / Region 5 (Ill.), U.S. Mint / Denver Operations (Colo.)

Govt. (Local, Municipal): Town of Frisco (Colo.), City of Alamo Heights (Texas), Town of Kent (Conn.), City of Watervliet (N.Y.), Township of Nether Providence (Penn.)

Green Power Community: Portland (Ore.), Alamo Heights (Texas)

Health Care: Adventist HealthCare (Md.), Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (Ill.)

Industrial Goods & Srvcs: General Dynamics Robotics Systems (Mich.), HWI Environmental Technologies (Mo.), Gexpro / Fenton (Mo.)

Information Technology: Lenovo (N.C.), Aviat Networks, Inc. (Calif.)

Legal Services: Juris Law Group (Calif.)

Non-Profit (NGO): British Embassy (D.C.), Foxdale Village (Penn.)

Other: New West Landscapes (Mont.)

Printing: LMI Packaging Solutions, Inc. (Wisc.), Multi Packaging Solutions (N.Y.)

Real Estate: The DESCO Group (Mo.)

Restaurants & Food Srvcs.: All Great Restaurants (Mo.), On the Hill Café (Md.), Zia's Cafe, Juice Bar & Catering (Md.)

Retail: Hi Ho Silver Co. (Md.), Sun & Earth Natural Foods (Md.), Best Buy (Minn.), Garnish (Ore.), Annie Laurie's Antiques (Mo.), Muir Woods Trading Company (Calif.)

Travel & Leisure: St. Louis Rams / Russell Training Center (Mo.), 3B Bed and Breakfast (N.Y.)

Reminder: GPP Purchase Requirement Changes, Revised “New” Requirement

As previously announced, beginning January 1, 2011, the Partnership’s purchasing requirements for all Partners and Green Power Communities will change. Effective January 1, 2011, GPP will increase the minimum green power purchase requirement and associated Green Power Leadership Club (GPLC) threshold. Organizations joining the Partnership beginning January 1, 2011, must meet the following new minimum purchase levels:

Annual Electricity Usage Current Minimum Current GPLC January 2011 Minimum January 2011 GPLC
≥ 100,000,001 kWh 2% 20% 3% 30%
10,000,001-100,000,000 kWh 3% 30% 5% 50%
1,000,001 - 10,000,000 kWh 6% 60% 10% 100%
≤ 1,000,000 kWh 10% NA 20% NA

Current Partners will have until the date on which their yearly report is due in 2011 to meet the new requirements.

Green Power Communities joining the Partnership beginning January 1, 2011, must meet the following new minimum purchase levels:

Community Annual Electricity Usage Current GPC Minimum January 2011 Minimum
≥ 100,000,001 kWh 2% 3%
10,000,001-100,000,000 kWh 3% 5%
1,000,001 - 10,000,000 kWh 6% 10%
≤ 1,000,000 kWh 10% 20%

Current GPCs will have until the date on which their yearly report is due in 2011 to meet the new requirements.

All Partners– current and new – will operate under the revised GPLC thresholds as of January 1, 2011. This means that all Partners who do not meet the new requirements on January 1 will be removed from the Leadership Club until they achieve the new threshold. 

In addition to increasing the minimum Partner and GPC purchase levels, the Partnership also announced in February 2009 the move towards phasing out existing renewables (from facilities put in place before January 1, 1997) in order to encourage the development of new renewables. New renewables had been defined as those constructed on or after Jan. 1, 1997. Current Green Power Partners’ in-place contracts for existing renewables will be recognized until the end of the contract or January 1, 2012, whichever comes first.

Beginning January 1, 2011, GPP will adopt a rolling 15-year “New Date” to determine eligibility of renewable resources. Effective January 1, 2012, the “New Date” will change to 1998 and advance one year each year thereafter. Partners with contracts in place for existing renewables have until January 1, 2012 to replace them with a purchase of new renewables.

GPP Featured in Newsweek’s Green Rankings Issue; 2011 Advertising Supplement Opportunity

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The Partnership works to provide Partners with opportunities to place paid advertising in magazine sections highlighting both Partner and Partnership achievements. Newsweek recently featured Partner TD Bank and the Partnership in a special advertising section in its October 20 Green Rankings issue.

GPP would like to offer Green Power Partners another special EPA-branded paid advertising supplement opportunity to take advantage of in 2011. Partners have the opportunity to work through Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine to be part of its upcoming special advertising section.

The Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine EPA-branded special advertising section will contain a lead story about the Partnership. With a commitment to advertising space, Green Power Partners will be featured in an accompanying article that will appear next to the lead story.

  • Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine April 25 issue (April 22 is Earth Day)
  • Advertising Deadline: March 20
  • For pricing and other information, please contact: Jordan Hyman (jhyman10@bloomberg.com), Custom Publishing, Bloomberg Businessweek at 212-617-3709.

If you would like more information about this opportunity, please contact Allison Dennis (dennis.allison@epamail.epa.gov).

Green Power Community Challenge Rankings Updated

In September GPP issued its nationwide Green Power Community (GPC) Challenge. GPCs are well on track to reach the Challenge’s goal of doubling the total aggregate amount of green power used by GPCs to more than 1.8 billion kWh of green power annually. Thirty-three Green Power Communities are now collectively using more than 1.6 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 142,000 average American homes.

On December 1, GPP released its first update of the GPC Challenge rankings. GPCs are ranked according to the two award categories: the community that has the highest green power percentage and the community that uses the most kWh of green power. Brookeville, Maryland, has retained the top spot for highest green power percentage of total electricity use with an impressive 50 percent. Portland, Oregon, now leads the Challenge as the top buyer of green power with a collective green power use of nearly 676 million kWh per year.

Since September, two additional GPCs have joined the Challenge – the Portland, Oregon, Community and the Alamo Heights, Texas, Community – bringing the total of participating GPCs to 33 nationwide.

The GPC Challenge has generated significant media attention and has been featured in several publications, including Environmental Leader, American City and County, and County News. You can read all the GPC Challenge coverage on the Green Power Communities Press page.

GPP will next update the Challenge rankings on March 1, 2011. The deadline for green power usage updates to be included on the list is February 2, 2011. GPP will announce the winning communities in September 2011. 

Interested in Participating in the Challenge?

GPP invites communities nationwide to participate in the Challenge at any point. To participate, a city, town, village, county, or tribe must join the Green Power Partnership and use green power in amounts that meet the program’s purchase requirements. The local government must also conduct a campaign to encourage local businesses and residents to collectively buy or produce green power on-site in amounts that meet GPP requirements and become a Green Power Community. Communities can find tools and resources and more information on becoming a GPC on the Green Power Communities website.

GPP Recognizes 18 Partners with Green Power Leadership Awards

On October 20, GPP recognized 18 Partners and Green Power Communities with Green Power Leadership Awards for their leadership, commitment, and contribution to helping advance the nation’s voluntary green power market. GPP presented the awards at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference held on October 19-22 in Portland, Oregon.

Partner of the Year recognizes Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market.

  • Kohl’s Department Stores
  • Motorola, Inc.
  • TD Bank
  • Whole Foods Market

On-site Generation recognizes Partners who distinguish themselves using on-site renewable energy applications.

  • City of San Francisco
  • Phoenix Press, Inc.
  Green Power award.
  Awards as shown above are presented to the winners at the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference.

Green Power Purchasing recognizes Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier.

  • BD
  • BNY Mellon
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Harris Bank
  • Indianapolis Zoo
  • Intel Corporation
  • Pearson
  • Port of Portland
  • State of Illinois

NEW! Green Power Community of the Year recognizes GPCs that distinguish themselves through their green power usage, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy, and impact on the green power market.

  • Corvallis, Oregon Community
  • Park City, Utah Community

To learn more about this year’s winners, visit the 2010 Award Winners Web page.

GPP Releases Discussion Draft on the Environmental Value of Purchasing REC

In October, the Green Power Partnership released a white paper on the Environmental Value of Purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates Voluntarily (PDF). (4 pp., 164K, About PDF)

The paper’s purpose is to educate Green Power Partners and prospective Partners about the environmental value of purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) voluntarily. It addresses the role of RECs in the renewable energy marketplace, their role in reducing emissions, and how a corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory accounts for the environmental value of a voluntary REC purchase. The following are a few highlights from the paper:

  • EPA supports organizations increasing their green power use via on-site production, green power purchases from electric service providers, or REC purchases from providers, provided the product option meets Green Power Partnership eligibility criteria.
  • An organization buying RECs that meet the Green Power Partnership eligibility criteria can claim to be buying zero-emission, renewable electricity, which reduces or avoids its indirect emissions from purchased electricity. EPA also encourages organizations that purchase RECs voluntarily to express the REC’s environmental benefit as a reduction in the organization’s carbon footprint.
  • Purchasing RECs voluntarily is an important and valuable means for expanding renewable energy across the United States.
  • Green Power Partners and prospective Partners should understand that their purchasing choices send important market signals. Partner purchases support development of new renewable energy sources and the growth of green power.

For more information or questions about the paper, please contact Matt Clouse (clouse.matt@epamail.epa.gov) or (202) 343-9004.

November Top Partner Rankings Update

On November 1, GPP updated its Top Partner rankings. Intel Corporation remains the program’s largest purchaser with more than 1.4 billion kWh of green power. Starbucks rose to No. 4 on the National Top 50 list by more than doubling its purchase to more than 570 million kWh, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania moved up to No. 5 on the list after increasing its purchase by 100 million kWh. The University of Pennsylvania (No. 19), the World Bank Group (No. 33), and Safeway, Inc. (No. 40) also increased their purchases. Collectively, the Top 50 Green Power Partners are purchasing almost 12.6 billion kWh of green power, the equivalent to taking more than 1.7 million passenger vehicles off the road.

For a complete list of all Top Partner Rankings, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/index.htm.

January Top Partner List Updates

GPP will next update the Top Partner Lists on February 1, 2011. The deadline for green power usage updates to be included on the lists is January 5.

GPP: A Year in Review

The Green Power Partnership surpassed the 1,300 Partner threshold in 2010 despite difficult economic conditions. As of December 2, the Partnership has gained 208 new Partners and Green Power Communities (GPCs) this year, bringing the total to 1,300 Partners and 33 GPCs. New Partners come from a wide variety of sectors, with strong representation from higher education, local government, printing, and retail. Total green power use has grown to nearly 18 billion kWh (see Figure 1), with the majority of Partners’ green power use being supplied by renewable energy certificates (RECs), followed by utility green power products and on-site generation (see Figure 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2
Figure 3

In September, the Partnership launched the inaugural Green Power Community Challenge. The Challenge has elicited friendly rivalry among communities across the country and has already achieved great success. Since the launch, GPC green power use has almost doubled to 1.6 billion kWh (see Figure 3).

Partner Spotlight – Philadelphia Eagles

Photo of Lincoln Financial Field.  
An artist’s rendering of Lincoln Financial Field. Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, November 18, 2010  

In a move that has been described as a “green power blitz,” the Eagles – a Green Power Partner since 2004 – announced on November 18 that Lincoln Financial Field will be retrofitted with 100 wind turbines, 2,500 solar panels, and a 7.6 megawatt cogeneration plant that together will supply 100 percent of the stadium’s power use during football games. When the retrofit is complete, the stadium, which was built in 2003 and has been purchasing RECs to offset 100 percent of its electricity use since its construction, will be off the grid entirely.

The ambitious on-site renewable energy project, expected to be completed in time for the 2011 regular season kickoff, aims to turn the stadium into one of the greenest sports arenas in the world. Excess solar and wind-generated electricity will be sold back to the grid, earning the team additional revenue. Overall, the organization’s management expects to save $60 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. GPP applauds the team for its highly visible commitment to renewable energy.

2010-2011 College & University Green Power Challenge Rankings Updated

Jumping Graduate icon.On November 1, GPP updated the 2010-2011 College & University Green Power Challenge rankings. The University of Pennsylvania and Ivy League remain in the lead with more than 220 million kWh of collective green power purchased, followed by the Big Ten Conference and the University Athletic Association. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (No. 23) joined the competition with the addition of Mercyhurst College, which is purchasing nearly 14 million kWh for 100 percent of its electricity use.

The Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. To be listed, a conference must have an aggregate green power purchase of at least 10 million kilowatt-hours across the conference. For more information, please contact Blaine Collison (collison.blaine@epamail.epa.gov). To learn more about the Challenge, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

The College & University Challenge rankings will be updated again in January 2011. The deadline for green power usage updates to be included in the rankings is January 5. The Challenge will conclude April 2011.

Report Studies Use of Green Power by ACUPCC Signatories

A new report released by the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)  found that purchasing green power and using on-site renewable electricity was the fifth most popular climate mitigation strategy (out of 19) that signatory schools are employing to reduce their carbon footprints. Thirty-five of the 50 schools studied are using green power, 30 of them via an on-site renewable energy system (usually demonstration-size), and 16 of them by using at least 15 percent green power. Buying 15 percent green power is one of seven Tangible Actions that all signatories can implement immediately (they must implement at least 3) to join the ACUPCC.

Green power is an important strategy in a school’s GHG mitigation portfolio because emissions from purchased electricity and heat (i.e., Scope 2 emissions) represent the largest share of aggregate GHG emissions across the schools studied (35 percent on average). Purchasing green power voluntarily allows schools to adjust their Scope 2 emissions down from a business-as-usual baseline.

Green Power Partner American University has one of the most aggressive carbon neutrality targets among the ACUPCC signatories and is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2020. In 2010, American increased its green power purchase to 100 percent of its total electricity use, and by 2014, it hopes to source all of its RECs from regionally sourced renewable energy projects. Buying green power is a core element of the school’s climate action plan and has allowed the school to accelerate its carbon neutrality timeline.

Using a different approach, the University of Minnesota, Morris installed an industrial-scale wind turbine and plans to install two more, which together will supply 90 percent of the campus electricity use. The school also has an on-site biomass gasification plant.

To view the report, see Climate Action Planning: A Review of Best Practices, Key Elements, and Common Climate Strategies (PDF) (55pp, 614K, About PDF).

NREL Releases 2009 Green Power Markets Status Report

In October, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) released Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (2009 Data). The annual report presents voluntary green power market data for the United States, drawn primarily from data submitted by utilities, renewable energy marketers, and EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Key highlights and trends from 2009 include:

  • Total voluntary retail green power sales in 2009 exceeded 30 million kWh, a 17 percent increase from 2008. Much of this growth was due to the increase in renewable energy certificate (REC) sales to commercial and industrial customers. REC sales increased by 20 percent in 2009 and now comprise over 62 percent of the voluntary market.
  • Voluntary green power sales represented 0.8 percent of total U.S. electricity sales in 2009. This does not include green power that was purchased for compliance with renewable portfolio standard (RPS) obligations. Compliance purchases accounted for another 0.8 percent of total U.S. electricity volume.
  • 1,700 MW of new renewable capacity was sold into the green power market in 2009. Since 2006, renewable energy capacity serving voluntary U.S. markets has increased nearly threefold.

The report also includes a section that discusses REC prices in compliance and voluntary markets, REC price transparency and quantity information, and the treatment of green power purchases in GHG inventories.

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Contacting EPA’s Green Power Partnership

Please feel free to contact the Green Power Partnership:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Green Power Partnership
Fax: 202-343-2208
Web site: www.epa.gov/greenpower

Recruiting & Green Power Communities - Blaine Collison (Collison.Blaine@epamail.epa.gov) or 202-343-9139
Marketing & Outreach - Allison Dennis (dennis.allison@epamail.epa.gov) or 202-343-9526
Partnership Administration & PolicyMatt Clouse (clouse.matt@epamail.epa.gov) or 202-343-9004

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