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Green Power Partnership Program Updates

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Issue 23, August 11, 2014


Partner Spotlight: Oklahoma State University


Oklahoma State University (OSU), a land-grant, public research facility located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, became a Green Power Partner in November 2012.

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

A. Responsible stewardship of resources is a core value and key to OSU’s vision of advancing the quality of life for all. Utilizing green power sets a powerful, positive example to everyone from students to similar institutions. Utilizing wind power in particular allows us to take advantage of an abundant, local, clean and renewable Oklahoma resource as the nation strives for energy independence.

Another reason OSU decided to use green power is the fluctuation of fossil fuel costs, which play a key role in the sustainability of the university’s utilities budget. The volatile market for natural gas and the natural gas spike in 2008 started our investigation into how to reduce this financial risk. A long-term green power agreement provided the stability we were seeking.

OSU’s journey of commitment to responsible stewardship of energy and use of green power is reinforced by our commitment to energy conservation. At OSU we feel that the greenest electron is the electron not produced. The use of wind energy complements the university’s robust Energy Conservation Program, introduced in 2007. OSU has reduced its energy consumption by 17.1 percent resulting in $32.2 million in energy cost avoidance since the program started—$9.7 million above the goal for energy savings to date.

Q. Is OSU currently striving to achieve a green power goal?

A. The annual goal for wind power use is 67 percent of consumption for the Stillwater campus. During calendar year 2013, 72 percent of total electrical need, or 100,360,039 kilowatt-hours (kWh), came from wind-generated power. The wind-generated power percentage is holding steady so far in 2014 and at the mid-year point was at 74 percent, totaling 49,225,593 kWh.

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

A. OSU has obtained an interval data feed from its wind farm that provides the amount of electricity being produced in hour increments. A strategy is being investigated as to how to better use this data in conjunction with energy management practices and consumption on the campus. Being able to see what the wind farm is producing in real time will help utilities operators be more effective as they use energy consuming equipment and schedule HVAC runtimes in campus facilities.

In addition to utilizing wind power at its Stillwater Campus, OSU offers a wind turbine technology Associate in Applied Science degree with an Internship Program option at its OKC campus that focuses on training technicians to work on utility-scale wind turbines.

OSU Stillwater is home to the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, established in 1987 to promote geothermal technology worldwide. Future plans include incorporating geothermal systems in two buildings undergoing renovation and construction, and geothermal pumps currently provide heating and cooling in two other campus buildings. Together, the four buildings will constitute 80,600 square feet of space heated and cooled by geothermal energy.

Q. What lessons have you learned in making the switch to green power or in increasing your green power use? What advice would you give to other organizations?

A. Although there were some increases to our energy rate initially, we are already seeing the benefits of having a long-term rate guaranteed for wind usage when compared to the rate of conventional power.

We would recommend ensuring that all parties and stakeholders are involved in the development of the Wind Energy Purchase Agreement and contract from the initial stages. It is also important to understand the organization’s green power goals and what implications these will have for budgets, rates, and operations of the organization.

Read more about OSU’s Energy Management & Sustainability Programs here and here.

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GPP in the News

Here's what a few of our partners are saying about being recognized for their green power efforts in recent press releases:

Applied Materials, Partner since February 2006, on being ranked No. 13 on our Top 30 Tech & Telecom List:
"Applied Materials remains dedicated to the generation and use of renewable energy, including clean energy installations at several of our facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as well as supplementing energy requirements through green power purchases from local utility companies." (July 30 Article)

SC Johnson & Son Inc., Partner since December 2010, on being ranked No. 9 on our Top 30 On-Site Generation List:
"We are honored to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for our continued commitment to reducing our environmental footprint. Focusing on green power use has long been a priority at SC Johnson. In the past decade alone, we have undertaken renewable energy initiatives around the globe, including wind power, solar and cogeneration." (July 30 Press Release)

Hanover, New Hampshire, Partner since June 2014, on becoming the state's first Green Power Community:
"The participation of Dartmouth, as the Upper Valley's largest power consumer, as well as our local business partners, made it possible for Hanover to become a Green Power Community. This shows how invested the Upper Valley is in renewable resources and energy efficiency, and this effort will move the Town of Hanover closer to its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030." (July 28 Article)

Recent Articles:
July 15, Chicago Tribune, Microsoft to Buy Power From a New Illinois Wind Farm
July 15, Oak Ridge Today, Oak Ridge first EPA green power community in Southeast
July 11, Energy Manager Today, Apple Builds More Solar in NC, Reaches for 'All Renewables' Goal
June 26, The Energy Collective, EPA's Green Power Partnership Program: Achieving 100% Clean Energy One Partner at a Time

For more news on the Partnership, please visit the GPP Newsroom.

GPP on Social Media

Green Power Partners are taking to social media to promote their green power use and partnership with EPA. See below for some highlights:

Friends Academy: We've been recognized as a Top Partner using green power in the #EPAGreenPower Partnership Top 30 K-12 Schools list! http://1.usa.gov/yrojX

Applied Materials: Applied Materials is recognized by the @EPA for leading #green power use http://bit.ly/1rHAs6V #EPAGreenPower pic.twitter.com/3c2cAENnaP

SC Johnson: Excited to be recognized on #EPAGreenPower Partnership top 100 list of #green power users! http://1.usa.gov/Z6UtT http://bit.ly/1kmyBGa

Visit GPP's home page and check out our Twitter feed to see more.

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Top Green Power Partner Lists Updated

On July 28, GPP released the third quarterly update of its Top Partner Rankings for 2014. GPP’s Top Partner Rankings provide updated lists of Partners using green power nationwide and within sectors, as well as those using 100 percent green power and with long-term green power contracts. View the current rankings on the Top Partner Rankings section of the GPP website.

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By the Numbers

The Green Power Partnership’s 129 college and university Partners use a combined total of nearly 2.7 billion kWh of green power, including more than 82 million kWh of on-site green power installations. That’s like avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 255,000 average American homes for a year! Is your school a Green Power Partner? Take a look at our Partner List to find out, or encourage your school or alma mater to join GPP today!

On Twitter? Tweet this fact!
#EPAgreenpower colleges & universities use nearly 2.7 billion kWh of green power yearly! Check out top C&U partners @ 1.usa.gov/1o9weah

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Green Power Community Challenge Data Deadline Sept. 2

EPA will make the final update to the 2013-2014 Challenge rankings in late September, concluding this year's Challenge and recognizing two winning Green Power Communities — the one with the most green power use, and the one with the highest green power percentage of total electricity use. The data deadline for the final 2013-2014 update is September 2. If your community's green power use has recently changed, please submit any updates to Anthony Amato (anthony.amato@erg.com) no later than COB Tuesday, Sept. 2 in order for the updated data to be reflected in the final Challenge rankings. If your community's green power use has not changed, there is no need to submit an update. Learn more about the Green Power Community Challenge.

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Green-e Energy Seeks Feedback on Potential Future Provisions of National Standard

Green-e Energy is currently seeking feedback on potential future provisions of the Green-e Energy National Standard regarding treatment of long-term contracts and ocean resources. The survey will be open through Monday, August 18, 2014. Interested parties can find more information on Green-e’s website.

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Reminder: Climate Leadership Awards Application Period Open

The 2015 Climate Leadership Awards application period is open until September 12, 2014. For more information on the Climate Leadership Awards visit www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/. Organizations interested in applying can also review presentation slides from a June 2014 webinar that provided an overview of the awards.

EPA co-sponsors the Climate Leadership Awards with three NGO partners: the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry.

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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 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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