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Issue 24, September 22, 2014

Partner Spotlight: Lundberg Family Farms

Photo of on-site solar array at Lundberg Family Farms in California.
Photo of on-site solar array at Lundberg Family Farms in California.

Lundberg Family Farms, a Green Power Partner since 2003, is a family-owned and operated farm committed to growing and producing organic rice and rice products in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California.

Q. Why did Lundberg Family Farms decide to use green power? What do you see as the benefits of using green power and what role does it play in your company’s broader business and environmental strategy?

A. We have a commitment to use green, renewable energy whenever possible, and have been installing solar arrays since 2006. We purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the balance of the power we use. Being a family business, when we invest, we’re planning long-term, both in terms of sustaining the soil and environment and in making sure there’s a viable business to pass on to the future generations.

Q. Is Lundberg Family Farms currently striving to achieve a green power goal and is there a timeframe? What steps are being taken to reach it?

A. We have a stated goal to reach 30 percent of our energy needs over the next five years from on-site renewable energy installations and to purchase RECs for the remainder. Steps we are taking include increasing our use of solar arrays and investing in research for alternative power methods, along with energy conservation.

Q. Describe any innovative green power strategies your company has implemented or is planning. Do you have any upcoming projects or strategies that relate to your company’s green power usage?

A. Beyond installing solar power systems on-site and reducing our energy usage by 10 percent off of our 2012 baseline each year, we have invested in research for biochar, using the chaff from milling our grains to power a generator with no emissions, and using the resultant char residue as a fertilizer and carbon sink. We shall continue to search for other green energy options.

Read more about Lundberg Family Farms’ sustainability efforts here (PDF) (32 pp, 1.7 MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer.

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Final 2013-14 Green Power Community Challenge Rankings

For the past year, EPA Green Power Communities have tracked and reported both their collective green power use and green power as a percentage of their total electricity use. Each quarter, the Green Power Partnership updates the rankings according to these two categories on a quarterly basis.

The final results for the 2013-2014 Community Challenge have been tallied and our winners are...Washington, DC and Hillsboro, Oregon! Washington, DC ranks first in most kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power used with nearly 1.2 billion kWh. Hillsboro, Oregon is the GPC with the highest percentage of green power use at greater than 50 percent. Congratulations to our winners and all participating Green Power Communities! View the full rankings at: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities/gpcrankings.htm.

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By the Numbers

More than half of the EPA GPCs are located in three states — California (14), Oregon (11), and Maryland (5).

On Twitter? Tweet this fact!
#EPAgreenpower GPCs across the country are using more than 5.4 billion kWh yearly! Check them out - 1.usa.gov/XPngDY

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EPA Launches Green Power Resource Library

Check out EPA's new Green Power Resource Library, a repository of best practices documents to help organizations and individuals navigate renewable energy development and procurement processes. The Resource Library features guidance documents, templates and contracts for renewable energy procurements, and solicitations for various renewable energy services. Please help us expand the Resource Library by emailing any contributions to Mollie Lemon (lemon.mollie@epa.gov) along with a brief description of the document in the body of the email. EPA will review submissions for appropriateness.

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Upcoming GPP Webinars

Streamlining Off-site Corporate Renewables Transactions

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
1:00-2:00 pm (EDT)
Register for this webinar
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A few large corporations have started to source renewable energy directly from large, off-site wind or solar farms. The economic benefits are often significant, especially in today's market, but transaction complexity hinders large scale deployment. To make these transactions more accessible to a larger number of corporate organizations, the Rocky Mountain Institute is launching a shared service/resource center that will provide standardized products and services such as deal databases, case studies, contract dissections, due diligence methodologies, and training events - the Business Renewables Center (BRC). The expected impact of the BRC will be to reduce transaction costs, time to completion and failure rates.

This webinar will answer the following questions:

  • What actions are corporate leaders taking today?
  • What are the most commonly-encountered issues or barriers slowing adoption of renewable energy by organizations on a larger scale?
  • How does the BRC address these issues and what is the Center's delivery model?
  • How can I become involved with the BRC?

Speaker:

  • Hervé Touati, Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute

How Three Retail Buyers Source Large-Scale Solar Electricity: Making the Nation's Largest Non-utility Solar Project East of the Mississippi a Reality

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
1:00-2:30 pm (EDT)
Register for this Webinar
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Large-scale, non-utility solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) are still a rarity despite the growing popularity of PPAs across the country. In this webinar, participants will learn more about how the nation's largest non-utility solar photovoltaic PPA east of the Mississippi came to be. To help other organizations learn how to develop and implement similar PPAs, representatives from American University, the George Washington University and the George Washington University Hospital, along with CustomerFirst Renewables, will discuss their recently announced solar PPA that was launched in 2014 and will be fully operational by 2015. The 52 megawatt (MW) solar PV power plant, located in North Carolina, will deliver an estimated 123 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, meeting more than 50 percent of each of the three organizations' annual electricity needs.

Topics will include:

  • Overview of the project, including environmental and economic benefits.
  • Challenges the organizations overcame, including defining a successful outcome, overcoming a lack of market transparency on renewable energy market prices, designing and negotiating unorthodox contract provisions, and keeping a long-term project moving.
  • Elements of a successful team, including the necessity of involving a cross-functional team and leveraging the benefits of partnership among several organizations.
  • Project planning and timeline, including how the team adapted their process and timeline as challenges arose, and utilizing an objective, transparent and fact-based process that all team members could trust in.

There will be time for a question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

Speakers will include:

  • Chris O'Brien, Director, Office of Sustainability, American University
  • Meghan Chapple, Director, Office of Sustainability, The George Washington University
  • Amy Mendoza, Assistant Administrator, The George Washington University Hospital
  • Gary Farha, President & CEO, CustomerFirst Renewables

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Reminder: Register for the Renewable Energy Markets 2014 Conference

Discounted early registration Exit EPA Disclaimer is now open through September 30 for this year's Renewable Energy Markets (REM) 2014 conference, taking place in Sacramento, California from December 2-4 and co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Set in California's state capital, REM 2014 is geared towards attendees who share an interest in and commitment to promoting clean energy. This year's conference will include dozens of sessions covering all aspects of the North American renewable energy markets, including organizations using renewable energy, project development, marketing renewable energy, policy and legal issues, markets and trading, and bundled electricity products.

In addition, EPA and the Center for Resource Solutions will honor recipients with the 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards, presented annually to leaders in the renewable energy industry, during a luncheon on December 3.

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NREL Launches Renewable Energy Optimization (REopt) Tool

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has recently launched the Renewable Energy Optimization (REopt) tool. REopt is an early screening tool for organizations that identifies and prioritizes renewable energy projects at a single site, or across a portfolio of sites in multiple cities, states, or countries, each with its own energy requirements, resources, goals, and constraints. The tool provides a ranked list of renewable energy projects for different potential scenarios and identifies the technology sizes that meet the defined goals at minimum cost, along with the optimal deployment strategies. For more information, visit: http://www.nrel.gov/tech_deployment/tools_reopt.html Exit EPA Disclaimer.

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Green Power Education Corner: "Certifiable" vs. "Certified" Products

While EPA currently does not require Green Power Partners to purchase certified green power products, we strongly encourage organizations to purchase products that are certified by an independent third party as a matter of best practice. Certification helps ensure the quality of green power products, and also helps build consumer confidence in the marketplace. Currently, one organization certifies green power products: the Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e Energy program Exit EPA Disclaimer.

There is some confusion in the market, however, about RECs that appear to meet the Green-e standards but have not actually been certified or verified by the Green-e Energy program. The term "Green-e certifiable" is not sanctioned by Green-e, and RECs that are marketed this way to consumers have not undergone any verification or review by the Green-e Energy program. They are also commonly referred to as "Green-e eligible" RECs, and can be listed this way in renewable energy tracking system reports and by wholesalers and brokers. Retail buyers, like EPA Green Power Partners, should understand that until a REC is sold as a certified product, it has not been reviewed or vetted by Green-e, and is not considered Green-e Energy certified.

It's also important to know that having a renewable energy supplier buy Green-e Energy certified on your behalf is not the same as the supplier selling you a Green-e Energy certified product. One of the key values to certification and verification of RECs is tracking the full chain of custody from the consumer all the way back to the generator. This ensures that there is no double counting, double selling or double claiming of RECs. This only occurs when you, as a retail purchaser, buy the certified product.

To find Green-e Energy certified renewable energy products, including RECs and green power programs, visit www.green-e.org/buy Exit EPA Disclaimer.

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Join GPP's LinkedIn Group now!

Not yet using green power but ready to start? Ready to join the Green Power Partnership? GPP logo

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Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 23, August 11, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 22, July 14, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 21, June 17, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 20, May 5, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 19, April 7, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 18, March 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 17, February 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 16, January 13, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 15, December 19, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 14, November 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 13, October 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 12, September 9, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 11, August 12, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 10, July 15, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 9, June 17, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 8, May 13, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 7, April 8, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 6, March 11, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 5, February 20, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 4, January 14, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 3, December 17, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 2, November 26, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 1, October 22, 2012

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