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Green Power Partnership Program Updates

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Issue 30, April 8, 2015

Celebrating Earth Day 2015—Green Power Partners Are Leading the Way!

April 22nd marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Now more than ever we need to take steps to reduce our impact on the environment, and Green Power Partners continue to lead the way by supporting the green power market—our nearly 1,300 Partners are using a combined total of more than 28 billion kilowatt-hours of green power this year! That's enough electricity to power nearly 2.7 billion homes for a year.

Tweet this fact: #EPAGreenPower Partners are leading the way this #EarthDay by using more than 28 billion kWh green power! http://1.usa.gov/1FiEFWF

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Learn More about Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) with GPP: EPA's New RECs Video

RECsRenewable Energy Certificates, also known as RECs, represent the environmental and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation and are a component of all renewable electricity products. RECs are measured in single megawatt–hour increments and are created at the point of electric generation. Each REC represents a specific amount of electricity produced and delivered to the power grid by a renewable resource such as wind or solar.

EPA's new video, RECs: Making Green Power Possible, provides an easy-to-understand description of RECs, their role in the green power market, and addresses common questions and concerns about the role and benefit of RECs.

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Register for Our Two Upcoming RECs Webinars!

Webinar: "Understanding Renewable Energy Certificates and the Procurement Process"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
1:00 PM-2:00 PM EDT
Register for this webinar

Are you interested in learning more about RECs and how your organization can procure them? Join EPA for an in-depth discussion of RECs, their significance in the renewable energy market, and the steps and best practices involved in making an organizational REC procurement. Guest speaker, Jacquelynn Henke, Vice President, Innovation and Transformation Director at TD Bank will provide an energy consumers' perspective on the REC purchase process, including a discussion of how RECs relate to TD Bank's overarching green power strategy and how the company communicates its green power use to stakeholders.

EPA will also showcase its new video, "RECs: Making Green Power Possible."

Webinar: "Renewable Energy Certificate Tracking Systems: An Introduction"

Thursday, April 30, 2015
1:00 pm-2:00 PM EDT
Register for this webinar

A follow-up to the Green Power Partnership's webinar covering RECs earlier in the month, this webinar explores the systems used to track RECs. REC tracking systems are electronic databases that account for the creation, ownership, and retirement of RECs. These systems are also used to verify compliance with state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies, create environmental disclosure labels for electricity products, and substantiate voluntary green power and environmental marketing claims. There are ten regionally-based REC tracking systems currently in operation in the United States. The registries offer both public reports of aggregated REC data as well as database access for governmental staff to determine compliance.

Questions to be addressed include:

  • What is a REC tracking system?
  • How do REC tracking systems work?
  • How do REC tracking systems improve the transparency and quality of REC procurements?
  • How can stakeholders use the registries to meet program goals?

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Green Power Leadership Award Application Period Closing April 17th!

Green Power Leadership AwardsThe Green Power Leadership Awards, co-sponsored by EPA and the Center for Resource Solutions, recognize outstanding commitments and achievements in the green power marketplace. EPA's awards include two categories:

  • Partner Awards, recognizing leading Green Power Partners and Communities that have helped further the green power market through their green power purchase or use of on-site renewable energy applications, overall green power strategy, and impact on the green power market.
  • Supplier Awards, highlighting the accomplishments of green power suppliers that are innovators and leaders in the voluntary renewable energy market.

The application period is open until April 17, 2015. To apply for an award or to nominate an organization other than your own, please visit EPA's Application Process web page. Visit the Center for Resource Solutions' awards site for information about the CRS Market Development Awards.

The awards will be presented in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference (Fall 2015, date TBD). For more information on the conference, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/events/conference.htm.

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Call for Abstracts Open for Renewable Energy Markets 2015

Abstracts are being accepted for Renewable Energy Markets (REM) 2015. Renewable Energy Markets is the industry's premier annual gathering attended by leading renewable energy and green power stakeholders. REM is organized by the Center for Resource Solutions and co-sponsored by the EPA's Green Power Partnership. Abstracts are due no later than Monday, June 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. To review submission guidelines and submit an abstract, please visit http://www.renewableenergymarkets.com/call-for-abstracts/.

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Welcome New Partners!

GPP welcomes the following 40+ organizations that joined the Green Power Partnership in the first quarter of 2015!

  • Architecture Services: Thornton Tomasetti (N.Y.)
  • Banking & Financial Services: Business Support Services Northwest, LLC (Wash.)
  • Clothing & Textile: H&M (N.Y.)
  • Consumer Products: Greg Aanes Furniture (Wash.), Naturepedic (Ohio)
  • Education (Higher): University of California, Irvine; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
  • Education (K-12): The British International School of New York (N.Y.)
  • Educational (Other): TechChange (D.C.)
  • Food & Beverage: Earth Source Organics (Calif.), Organically Grown Company (Ore.)
  • Government (Local, Municipal): Boulder County (Colo.), City of Maplewood (Mo.), Town of Windham (N.H.), Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (Calif.)
  • Hotels & Lodging: Baywood Hotels / Residence Inn Doral (Fla.), Montage Deer Valley (Utah)
  • Insurance: Swiss Re (N.Y.)
  • Legal Services: Roberts Law Firm, P.A. (N.C.)
  • Marketing, Advertising & PR: New Bohemia Signs (Calif.)
  • Non-Profit (NGO): Columbia Association (Md.), Stiles Hall (Calif.)
  • Real Estate: Verdigris Group (Ill.)
  • Recreation: Enid Event Center (Okla.), Namaspa (Ore.)
  • Restaurants & Cafes: Backyard Bowls (Calif.), Carmo (La.), The Daisy Café (Wash.)
  • Retail: Micheline SalonSpa (Fla.), Nuovo Salon Group (Fla.), SLOCO Massage & Wellness Spa (Calif.), South Side Suds (Ore.), Yount Street Glass (Calif.)
  • Sports Teams & Venues: Grand Prairie AirHogs Baseball (Texas)
  • Technology & Telecom: Plantronics, Inc. / Santa Cruz Operations (Calif.)
  • Transportation: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Texas)
  • Wineries & Breweries: Hops & Grains (Texas), ThirstyBear Brewing (Calif.)

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Partner Spotlight: Arlington County Public Schools

Solar Panels
50 kW solar array at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia

Arlington Public Schools (APS) is a public school system located in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, DC. The school district is comprised of 35 campuses and several support buildings. With an enrollment of more than 24,000 students, APS students hail from 123 nations, speak 97 languages, and are richly diverse. As part of its strategic plan, APS strives to provide optimal learning environments and includes environmental stewardship in its decision-making by designing or redesigning facilities and their grounds to be high-quality, energy efficient, and sustainable.

Q. Why did your organization 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. Arlington Public Schools (APS) recognizes the importance of being active stewards in protecting our environment and promoting sustainability throughout our district. Green power plays an important role in this commitment. Our ability to create a diversified energy portfolio that includes renewable resources benefits our community by reducing carbon emissions and promoting the benefits of green power.

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

A. We strive to make green power an increasing part of our energy portfolio. While maintaining our green power purchases, we also continue looking for opportunities to add more onsite renewable generation at both new and existing schools.

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

A. Discovery Elementary, opening this September, is currently under construction as our first Net-Zero school. Net-Zero will be achieved through a highly efficient building envelope, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a 496 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) array system. Our goal is to provide an optimal learning environment for our students with sustainable features that will be used as part of their daily learning experiences.

Q. What are two or three lessons you've learned in making the switch to green power or in increasing your green power use?

A. Using green power is part of a comprehensive approach to energy conservation and sustainability in our district. This approach focuses on improving building efficiencies, providing educational outreach, reducing our waste, managing our water resources, and adding renewable technologies. Green power allows us to meet our goals in reducing carbon emissions and provides learning opportunities for our students, staff and the community.

Q. What advice would you give to other organizations interested in using green power, and is there anything you would do differently? What barriers did you encounter when switching to green power?

A. Working collaboratively with all parties is important. Utilities play a big role in helping you make your green power projects successful. We are fortunate to have the support of our community and local government in pursuing green power in our schools.

To learn more about Arlington County Public Schools' environmental initiatives, visit APS and the Environment, and check out their presentation as part of GPP's February 2015 webinar Solar Power for K-12 Schools!

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Top Partner Rankings and Challenges Updating on April 27

On April 27, GPP will publish updates to the program's College & University Challenge, On-Site Renewables Challenge, and Top Partner Rankings. Be sure to visit the website on the 27th for the latest rankings and information!

College & University Challenge

April 27 marks the final update of the 2014-2015 College and University Green Power Challenge. Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, GPP has tracked the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation. At the conclusion of the challenge, EPA will recognize a Champion Green Power Conference as well as the largest single green power users within each participating conference as 2014-15 EPA Green Power Challenge conference champions. Check out the current conference rankings as of January 2015.

On-Site Renewables Challenge

This will be the second On-Site Renewables Challenge update for 2015. The Green Power Partnership launched the Challenge in support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The Challenge has a goal of doubling the use of on-site green power by Green Power Partners by the end of the decade. Several Partners have already made commitments to increase the deployment of on-site renewable energy systems by 2020. Take a look at the current Partner On-Site Renewables Commitments!

Is your organization interested in supporting the Challenge and making an on-site renewables commitment? Submit an On-site Renewables Commitment Agreement (PDF) (2 pp, 152K) today!

Top Partner Rankings

This will be the second update of 2015 for the Top Partner Rankings, which highlight the annual green power use of leading Green Power Partners within the United States and across individual industry sectors, including Colleges & Universities, Retail, Tech & Telecom, and Fortune 500® Partners. Check out the current rankings as of January 2015.

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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 29, March 10, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 28, February 12, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 27, January 13, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 26, December 11, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 25, October 20, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 24, September 22, 2014
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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