2014 Past Award Winners
EPA Green Power Partner Awards
Partner of the Year
Green Power Purchasing
- City of Beaverton, Oregon
- City of Houston, Texas
- Herman Miller, Inc.
- June Key Delta Community Center
- Philadelphia Insurance Companies
- Steelcase Inc.
- Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire
- Trek Bicycle Corporation
Sustained Excellence in Green Power
Green Power Community of the Year
EPA Green Power Supplier Awards
Green Power Supplier of the Year
- 3Degrees Group, Inc.
- Portland General Electric
- Renewable Choice Energy
- Washington Gas Energy Services
CRS Market Development Awards
EPA Partner Awards
Partner of the Year
Since January 2013, Apple Inc., headquartered in Cupertino, California, has been one of the first companies in its sector to supply its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy. Apple also generates and purchases 100 percent renewable energy for all of its U.S. corporate facilities and uses more than 92 percent green power for its entire U.S.-based operations. Apple continues to work toward achieving its net-zero goal for data centers, corporate facilities, and retail stores worldwide. The company's program has three goals: displacing dirtier forms of energy; ensuring energy procured by Apple is additional to what would have otherwise occurred; and demonstrating accountability for the company's green power use.
Apple's renewable energy strategy focuses on creating new, Apple-owned renewable energy projects near the company's centers of energy demand. When evaluating potential renewable energy sources, Apple seeks to develop new renewable energy projects that wouldn't have happened without the company's direct involvement. By contracting directly with renewable energy generators, Apple enables new sources to be brought to market, either through on-site installations or long-term power purchase agreements. Apple's on-site renewable energy resources include two 20-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays and a 10-MW fuel cell installation supplied by directed biogas. Together, these three projects have an annual capacity of 167 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). Also, a third 20-MW PV array is currently under construction. Where it isn't possible to contract directly with renewable energy generators, or where Apple's long-term projects are under development and not yet operational, Apple purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated in the same region or state as the facility they support.
In addition, in 2012 Apple worked with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to develop state-specific rules under which fuel cells supplied by renewable resources can be used to create renewable energy, leading to a new baseload form of renewable energy in the state. In 2013, Apple worked with NV Energy in Nevada to create a new green energy tariff that is now available to all NV Energy commercial customers. In 2014, Apple worked with Center for Resource Solutions to create an innovative new way to certify the clean energy Apple generates and purchases directly to meet its renewable energy goals, called Green-e Direct.
Apple Inc. received an On-Site Generation Award in 2013.
BD is a global medical technology company that develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents. BD is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world, and purchasing green power— funded in part through savings obtained from energy conservation projects— is an important component of the company's Sustainability Strategy. With its current global renewable energy use standing at 35 percent, BD has already exceeded its target of 25 percent renewable energy use worldwide by 2015.
In 2011, BD began talks with the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) with the desire to purchase renewable energy for three manufacturing plants in Nebraska. About 40 percent of BD's U.S.-based electricity purchases come from Nebraska, a state that relies heavily on conventional fuels such as coal. Nebraska is also the only remaining state where all homes and businesses receive electric service from publicly-owned utilities. Following three years of negotiations and a series of challenges, BD's power purchase agreement for the renewable energy certificates (RECs) from 30 megawatts (MW) of generation from the output of the 75 MW Steele Flats wind project began delivering benefits in November 2013.
In addition to BD's new power purchase agreement with NPPD, the company generates and uses electricity from a one MW on-site solar array in North Carolina, and purchases RECs from a landfill gas-powered fuel cell installation. BD also purchases Green-e certified RECs through NextEra Energy Resources' EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust. Overseen by an independent trustee and panel of outside advisors, the Trust uses 100 percent of the funds it receives to build new renewable energy facilities. Overall, nearly 84 percent of BD's U.S. operations are powered by renewable energy. The company also communicates its green power use to its customers and stakeholders through sales brochures, its annual sustainability report, and website.
BD received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2010.
Google Inc., works to minimize the environmental impact of the company's services through a combination of strategies that include energy efficiency, carbon offsets, and green power use. Google has installed one of the largest corporate electric vehicle charging infrastructures in the country, developed some of the most efficient data centers in the world, and purchases and generates renewable energy. Google uses a combination of on-site generation, long-term power purchase agreements (PPA), and utility green power products to procure green power, with a goal of powering its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy. In 2013, Google purchased 870 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power via long-term contracts, and generated and used an additional 9.5 million kWh of on-site renewable energy.
To date, Google has signed 1040 megawatts (MW) worth of long-term wind contracts. Google's portfolio of wind contracts includes a 20-year contract for the entire output of the 240 MW Happy Hereford wind farm outside of Amarillo, Texas and a second 20-year contract for the electricity from 48 MW of the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma. For any emissions Google cannot eliminate directly, the company purchases high-quality carbon offsets, which reduces Google's total carbon footprint to zero. To date, Google has committed more than $1.5 billion to various renewable energy projects that put renewable energy onto the grid around the world.
Google worked directly with utilities in North Carolina and Oklahoma to foster programs to make it easier to for companies to purchase renewable energy. In North Carolina, the company worked to have a green tariff introduced and approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, thus creating a new, more scalable approach that will allow a broad range of companies like Google to buy large amounts of renewable power directly from electric utilities. In Oklahoma, Google collaborated with Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to procure renewable energy directly for its facility there, leading to the creation of GRDA's first-ever wind energy project.
Google received a Partner of the Year Award in 2011.
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater campus, is a land-grant, coeducational public research university with more than 25,000 students. OSU sets a positive example for similar institutions nationwide by its utilization of green power practices and technologies.
OSU's 2011 25-year power purchase agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) to purchase the output of the Cowboy Wind Farm, located near Blackwell, Oklahoma, set a statewide precedent, and its commitment to purchase the power was critical to the development of the community based project. The 26-turbine wind farm was completed in December 2012 and began generating electricity for the campus on January 1, 2013.
As of the delivery date, OSU began purchasing 110 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind energy annually from the Blackwell Cowboy Wind Farm. The annual goal for wind power use is at least 67 percent of consumption for the Stillwater campus. OSU beat its goal in 2013 and actual wind energy usage during the calendar year was 72 percent of the University's total energy use. In addition to OSU's wind power purchase, geothermal pumps currently provide heating and cooling in two OSU-Stillwater buildings and will be incorporated into two more. Together, the four buildings will constitute 80,600 square feet of space heated and cooled by geothermal energy.
The University's wind energy use complements its robust Energy Conservation Program, which was 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. OSU uses its sustainability efforts to set an example of environmental stewardship for students, faculty, staff, constituents, and the surrounding community. OSU-Oklahoma City now offers a wind turbine technology Associate in Applied Science degree with an internship program option, which focuses on training technicians to work on utility-scale wind turbines. OSU also collaborates with a utility program on a contest offering event tickets to athletics fans as a reward for signing up for the utility's wind-generated electricity option.
Green Power Purchasing
City of Beaverton, Oregon
The City of Beaverton, Oregon has been a Green Power Partner since 2007. In early 2014, Beaverton became the first municipality in Oregon's Portland General Electric service territory to meet 100 percent of its electricity demands with clean, renewable power sources. Beaverton's annual purchase of more than 10 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind energy is enough to power all of its facilities and operations, including street lighting, water pumping, and electric vehicle charging.
The city's green power purchasing is part of its comprehensive Sustainable Beaverton Strategy, which includes 11 sustainability goals and 175 actions. Having already surpassed an initial goal to increase the city's renewable electricity use by 75 percent, Beaverton is actively updating the plan to develop energy diversification into city planning, exploring community solar opportunities, and recommendations for how to support and encourage residents to invest in renewable energy.
In addition to purchasing green power, Beaverton invests in on-site generation, with a 17.6 kilowatt (kW) solar array on its main library building and a demonstration solar gazebo in the local farmers' market. In 2014, the Beaverton City Council approved the construction of a 433 kW solar array on a local reservoir, one of the city's largest facilities in terms of electricity use. Under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), Beaverton will purchase the generated electricity at a discounted rate. The array is expected to provide approximately 55 percent of the facility's annual power needs.
Beaverton's green power progress is driven by the collaborative efforts of city government, businesses, and residents. The city's solar panel installations and renewable energy purchases arose out of a citizen-based community visioning process, during which more than 5,000 residents asked the city to support green technologies and clean energy. Beaverton encourages community members to invest in on-site generation. The city uses more than eight percent green power communitywide as of July 2014.
Beaverton won a Green Power Community of the Year Award in 2012.
City of Houston, Texas
In June 2013, the City of Houston, Texas, signed a two-year agreement to purchase more than 620 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind projects annually. This purchase accounts for half of the city's municipal power needs, and makes Houston the largest municipal purchaser of renewable power in the Green Power Partnership as of July 2014. The city also has on-site solar arrays that generate more than 125,000 kWh at municipal buildings, and actively supports the development of new solar technologies through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative.
Houston is committed to using renewable energy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by another 10 percent by 2016, on top of a 32 percent reduction already achieved since 2007. The city also relies on green power to improve grid reliability during extreme weather events, and has installed 17 mobile solar-powered shipping containers/generators at city fire stations, parks, neighborhood centers, and schools. In addition to increasing its renewable energy investments, Houston is reducing energy consumption by expanding its municipal hybrid and electric fleet, as well as its municipal energy efficiency program. As a result of the energy efficiency program, since 2007, Houston has already reduced energy use by nearly 30 percent across six million square feet of city buildings.
Houston is exploring ways to reduce the complexity and cost of residential solar through a collective group discount program, and is also working with the Houston Advanced Research Center on streamlining and refining the solar permitting process. The city also hosts educational events throughout the year to inform businesses about green technologies and practices, such as the Houston Green Office Challenge. The Challenge is a friendly competition that encourages improved building operations through retrofits, increased use of renewable energy, and other environmental initiatives. Houston's Green Building Resource Center displays real-time energy production of its rooftop solar panels and wind turbines, and provides educational outreach to residents.
The City of Houston previously won a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2008.
Herman Miller, Inc.
Based in Zeeland, Michigan, Herman Miller, Inc. is a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of furnishings, interior products, and related services. A member of EPA's Green Power Partnership for more than 10 years, Herman Miller has promoted environmental stewardship as a cornerstone of its operations since 1923.
In 2013, Herman Miller's U.S. facilities invested three million dollars in energy efficiency upgrades, and purchased more than 86 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) and green power products from biomass and wind resources. Having achieved 100 percent renewable energy use across its global facilities in 2010, Herman Miller announced its new "Earthright Resource Smart" ten-year sustainability plan in 2013. The plan includes taking steps to secure more long-term, local contracts for the supply of clean energy to its U.S. facilities. In addition to pursuing long-term contracts, these steps include entering into investment contracts with developers and the installation of on-site generation where applicable. Herman Miller currently procures its wind power through a seven-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a local Michigan wind farm.
Herman Miller also engages its employees, suppliers, customers, and the community in the company's renewable energy efforts. Recently, Herman Miller increased its green power purchase requirements for product suppliers, and held educational seminars to teach suppliers about cost-effective methods for meeting the requirements. The company's energy team also works actively with state and local government officials to encourage the development of energy policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. In an effort to be transparent about its sustainability progress, Herman Miller publishes each of its facilities' annual renewable energy footprints.
June Key Delta Community Center
Located in Portland, Oregon's multicultural Humboldt neighborhood, the nonprofit June Key Delta Community Center (JKDCC) seeks to inspire sustainable rebuilding and green power projects in communities historically burdened by environmental, health, economic, educational, and social disparities. Owned and developed by the Portland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the community center was transformed over the past twenty years from an abandoned brownfield site to a Living Building and productive urban community garden. As a Living Building, the JKDCC meets rigorous requirements set by the International Living Future Institute to ensure a socially-just, culturally-rich, and ecologically-benign built environment.
One of the first African American-owned Living Buildings in the U.S., the Center was built using regionally-salvaged recycled and donated materials, and features energy efficient lighting, appliances and HVAC, a geothermal heat pump, and a rainwater collection system. A 68-panel, 18.36-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array provides 80 to 100 percent of the facility's annual electrical needs and supports its net-zero energy goal.
JKDCC's solar project aims to make green power tangible within the community and to afford underrepresented populations an opportunity to connect with the renewable energy industry. The solar installation provided hands-on training and educational opportunities for women and minority trade groups to observe and work alongside the solar project installers. JKDCC also purchases 4,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) annually, demonstrating to local utility customers the various ways in which they can support green power.
Neighborhood development and education are central to the mission of JKDCC, and the Center maintains an educational on-site solar monitoring kiosk and website and hosts public tours, renewable energy events and workshops, and local community college sustainability classes.
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
An EPA Green Power Partner since January 2014, Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) is a national commercial property/casualty and professional liability insurance carrier. PHLY considers protection of the global environment to be an important corporate responsibility, and supports individual- and community-based local environmental efforts, in addition to its own corporate sustainability initiatives. PHLY is a member of the Tokio Marine Group, which achieved carbon neutrality in both its domestic and overseas business operations in fiscal 2013.
PHLY operates 49 leased offices in 31 states. Although varying lease terms and inconsistent methods for tracking energy use at these properties make it challenging for PHLY to measure its carbon footprint and set goals for reductions, the company remains committed to taking these actions. In 2013, the company hired a firm to determine PHLY's electricity usage in its offices nationwide. After determining its overall energy use, PHLY achieved net zero emissions by purchasing more than four million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of third-party certified, wind-generated renewable energy certificates (RECs). PHLY's green power goals are part of the company's broader environmental strategic plan—the GREENPHLY Priority Action Plan, which has three focus areas: carbon footprint reduction; environmental education and awareness; and community outreach.
PHLY encourages its stakeholders to use green power, and serves as a knowledge resource for industry partners looking to explore their green power options. PHLY recently consulted with one of its largest environmental insurance brokers to advise the broker on how to launch its own grassroots sustainability program. PHLY plans to organize similar consultations with other industry partners, and to promote the use of green power as a critical component of a robust environmental program. PHLY also works with its local and national environmental non-profit partners, such as the Clean Air Council of Philadelphia, to achieve shared sustainability goals.
Founded in 1938, REI is a leading national outdoor retailer with a mission to inspire, educate, and outfit its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Energy use is one of the largest contributors to REI's climate impact, and the company, a consumer retail cooperative, is committed to using 100 percent renewable energy across its headquarters, two distribution centers, and nearly 140 retail stores.
In 2013, REI purchased more than 54 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from a single wind project in Texas. In addition to its existing REC purchases, REI seeks long-term green power contracts as a hedge against conventional electricity price volatility. This year, REI signed on as a lead customer of a new renewable energy facility located close to REI's headquarters. When the facility comes online in 2016, it will provide REI with more than 13.25 million kWh of renewable electricity annually, enough to power the company's headquarters, a distribution center, and six retail stores.
REI takes a comprehensive approach to meeting its 100 percent clean energy commitment, complementing green power purchasing with investments in on-site solar generation at 26 locations and energy efficiency efforts across its facilities. In the last year, REI completed a major retrofit of its data center, reducing the facility's cooling needs by 93 percent and saving 2.2 million kWh each year – enough to power six REI stores.
In 2014, REI became one of 12 leading signatories to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles, a collaborative effort among companies seeking to increase the availability of cost-competitive renewable energy to run their business by better communicating their purchasing needs and expectations to the marketplace.
REI actively engages its customers, vendors, and more than 11,000 employees in the organization's renewable energy efforts, and is committed to publicly reporting progress against company-wide sustainability goals. In 2012, REI helped to create the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's Higg Index, a framework for measuring the sustainability of brands, facilities, and products. REI shares its own performance on the Higg Index with its suppliers, and asks suppliers to take the assessment to benchmark their performance in areas including energy consumption and renewable energy sourcing.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan with nearly 10,000 employees around the world, Steelcase Inc. offers a comprehensive portfolio of workplace products, furnishings, and services. Steelcase has been a leader in green power purchasing for more than a decade, joining EPA's Green Power Partnership as a founding partner in 2001 and becoming the first corporate sole sponsor of a domestic wind farm a few years later.
In 2014, Steelcase increased its commitment to green power, investing in renewable energy equivalent to 100 percent of its global electricity consumption. In the U.S., that meant that Steelcase purchased more than 121 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from domestic wind farms—an increase of almost 300 percent in the company's domestic green power purchasing over the previous year.
Steelcase's energy conservation efforts and green power purchases are helping the company meet its long-term corporate sustainability goals, which include a 25 percent reduction in its overall environmental footprint by 2020 compared to its 2010 baseline. Since Steelcase began tracking its energy consumption in 2001, the company has reduced its energy use by 60 percent.
Steelcase also works with stakeholders within its value chain to scale the company's positive environmental impact. Steelcase recently introduced a pioneering program to extend its volume discount on RECs to its first-tier suppliers, incentivizing many to purchase green power for the first time.
Steelcase previously won a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2009.
Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire
Peterborough, a small town in southern New Hampshire and a popular tourist destination, uses 100 percent green power for its municipal facilities in the form of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs). The town started using green power in 2007, when Peterborough's Select Board voted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from government facilities by five percent by 2010. Peterborough surpassed that goal, achieving a 22 percent reduction in 2010 through low-cost measures such as using wood pellets to heat public facilities and improving HVAC equipment. The successful completion of this "Carbon Challenge" inspired the town to form a local energy coalition with ten other communities and organizations including eight New Hampshire towns, a school district, and an economic development corporation. The coalition set a goal of working cooperatively to bring about regional energy consumption awareness and change.
In 2013, under the Town of Peterborough's example and leadership, the coalition purchased wind power for a portion of members' facilities at a lower cost than could be achieved by individual member purchases. In 2014, Peterborough and the coalition members used 100 percent renewable electricity for all of their public facilities. Peterborough also plans to increase its use of on-site renewable energy and is currently constructing a solar array to power its new wastewater treatment facility. Once completed, it is expected to be the largest solar array in the state at one megawatt and save the town between $400,000 and $800,000 in electricity costs over a 20-year period.
Peterborough is committed to encouraging the use of renewable energy across New Hampshire, and seeks opportunities to educate and inform other similarly-sized communities on how to make green power use a reality. The Town is currently developing a comprehensive green power communications strategy that includes: an interactive website dedicated to a wide range of green initiatives; regular renewable energy education workshops to be held at the newly constructed solar-powered wastewater treatment facility; and local, regional, and state level public engagement at a variety of conventions, tradeshows, and other venues.
Trek Bicycle Corporation
Founded in 1976, Trek Bicycle Corporation is a major bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor. In 2009, Trek switched to 100 percent renewable electricity. The company recently expanded its corporate mission to include not only trying to build the best bikes in the world, but also helping the world to use bicycles as a simple solution for complex problems, such as combating climate change, easing urban congestion, and keeping fit.
Last year, Trek purchased more than seven million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power sourced from wind and biogas resources. The company recently completed a multi-million dollar expansion of bicycle painting operations at its Waterloo, Wisconsin headquarters, reducing the carbon footprint of its HVAC system by 90 percent and reducing airborne emissions by 50 percent per bicycle. With more than 1,500 dealers globally, Trek continues to expand the scope of its sustainability efforts to include its supply chain, retailers, and offsite locations. In 2014, the company began working with its suppliers and retailers to incorporate green power purchasing into their environmental efforts. Trek also created a retailer eco-guide to encourage its independent bicycle retailers to implement sustainability efforts within their own operations.
Trek also communicates the benefits of its sustainability efforts to its employees, customers, and the community. The company tracks all employees' carpool, bike-commute, and walking mileage, and internally publishes the amount of carbon offset by these activities. Trek's website explains how the company minimizes its environmental footprint across shipping, sourcing, and product design operations, including through its pioneering carbon fiber recycling program and its Eco Design product line. Trek also supports a number of alternative transportation advocacy nonprofit organizations at the local and national levels.
City of Las Vegas, Nevada
The City of Las Vegas is the most populous city in the state of Nevada and one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas is proving that long-term strategies to conserve energy and increase deployment of renewable energy resources can enhance tourism and diversify the economy for the city. In 2008, the city adopted the City of Las Vegas Sustainability Energy Strategy to implement renewable energy and energy conservation programs consistent with established sustainability and climate protection policies. The city is committed to reinvesting 100 percent of the savings from solar projects into further renewable energy and conservation projects, with the goal of making Las Vegas a net-zero energy city by 2020.
Las Vegas recently installed 3.3 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at its wastewater treatment facility, the largest municipal project of its type in the region. This facility uses approximately 120,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day to process more than 75 million gallons of water and represents about one-third of the city's total municipal energy costs. With the addition of the solar PV panels, which came online in April 2013 and generate nearly 6.7 million kWh annually, green power accounts for about 20 percent of the plant's electricity use. This in turn represents a full six percent of the city's total energy use. This reduced usage saves Las Vegas approximately $600,000 per year and serves to stabilize the cost of power needed to run the city's wastewater treatment facility, benefitting those who pay sewer fees in the city. The project was named "Renewable Project of the Year" by the Association of Energy Engineers in 2013.
The project is part of the city's sustainability initiative that, together with energy retrofits of city facilities and streetlights and installation of solar panels at 40 city-owned locations, will save more than $2.5 million per year in energy costs. Since 2008, the City of Las Vegas has invested more than $65 million in clean energy, water conservation, recycling, green building, and alternative transportation projects that have resulted in significant positive impacts to the environment, economy, and community.
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
As America's fifth largest city, Philadelphia has a goal to become the greenest city in America through its Greenworks Philadelphia plan, which has positioned the city to become a leader in green power production and consumption. As part of the plan, the city has committed to purchase and generate 20 percent of the electricity used in Philadelphia from alternative energy sources.
In December 2013, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) brought its largest green power project online at the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP). The 5.6 megawatt (MW) biogas combined heat and power facility runs on biogas produced at the WPCP and is projected to produce 44 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is equivalent to avoiding 32,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per year. This contributes to Greenworks' target of reducing municipal and community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent by 2015. In addition, PWD has installed two other green power projects, including a sewage geothermal installation and a solar photovoltaic system, both located at the Southeast WPCP. By generating on-site green power and avoiding GHG emissions, PWD is helping the city meet multiple Greenworks Philadelphia targets.
As an EPA Green Power Community, Philadelphia raises awareness and encourages city stakeholders to purchase green power through an education and outreach program. Philadelphia is also purchasing nearly seven million kWh of locally-sourced, Green-e certified wind renewable energy certificates (RECs). Over time, the city plans to move towards actively supporting more local renewable energy generation by using budgeted dollars for voluntary REC purchases from local renewable energy projects. Philadelphia values this approach because it invests in job creation, reduced grid congestion, increased fuel source diversity, and reductions in carbon emissions from Scope 2 (indirect) sources in the city and region. Additionally, as part of the Greenworks Philadelphia plan, the city has published a Solar Photovoltaic Guidebook and a Guidebook for Solar Water Heating Projects in Philadelphia.
The City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2012.
Sustained Excellence in Green Power
Intel Corporation, the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, develops computing technologies, products, and initiatives with a goal to continually advance the way people work and live. Demonstrating its commitment to green power and sustainability, in 2014, Intel's purchase of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) matched 100 percent of the electricity used at its U.S. locations. This purchase totaled approximately 3.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). These RECs represent diverse technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, low-impact hydro, and biomass. In addition, Intel has on-site solar facilities at 18 locations, which generate nearly ten million kWh of electricity annually—a portion of which (850,000 kWh) counts toward Intel's green power usage through the retention of RECs. In 2013, Intel also installed more than 75 solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations across 11 campuses.
Since 2008, Intel has invested more than $175 million in the renewable energy, smart grid, and energy-efficiency sectors and plans to continue taking a leadership position in these areas for years to come. Intel's leadership in using green power helps spur market growth to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make renewable energy less expensive and more accessible over the long term.
Intel also promotes sustainability via company-wide environmental initiatives in which employees play a major role. For example, a portion of each employee's variable compensation is tied to company performance against environmental metrics, which include reducing Intel's carbon footprint. Each year, the Intel Environmental Excellence Awards recognize employee efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
Intel also encourages its suppliers to reduce their environmental impacts, providing information via conferences, presentations, webinars, and seminars. To demonstrate the importance of supplier engagement, Intel has implemented supplier sustainability criteria and reporting. Further, the company purchases additional RECs to match the electricity use of events, such as its Supplier Day, Intel Manufacturing Excellence Conference, and the Intel Developer Forum. To increase awareness of green power externally, Intel continues to release environmental statements, announcements, and reports to the media.
Intel received Sustained Excellence Awards in 2012 and 2013, Partner of the Year Awards in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2010.
Kohl's Department Stores
Kohl's Department Stores has made an impressive commitment to green power and continues to display its dedication, year after year. With more than 1,160 stores in 49 states, Kohl's demonstrates its commitment to protecting the environment by seeking solutions in three strategic areas: sustainable operations; supply chain; and stakeholder engagement.
Under its sustainable operations strategy, Kohl's has met its goal to use 100 percent renewable energy. Since 2009, Kohl's has ranked first on EPA's Green Power Partnership Top Retail Partners list.
Kohl's generates and uses more than 36 million kWh of green power annually from on-site solar and wind projects. As of April 2014, Kohl's has 156 solar locations—a 19-location increase since the previous year. Kohl's 20-year solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for its solar locations is a testament to its long-term outlook and dedication to using green power.
As part of its stakeholder engagement strategy, Kohl's uses its sustainability website, KohlsGreen.com, to share news and information about its efforts, goals, and accomplishments. By showcasing its sustainability efforts, including green power, via store screensavers, overhead announcements, window decals and more, Kohl's continually reminds customers and associates of the company's environmental initiatives and commitments. Since 2012, Kohl's has also released an annual Corporate Social Responsibility report, including carbon footprint measurements, to demonstrate its transparency and leadership.
Kohl's received Sustained Excellence Awards in 2012 and 2013, Partner of the Year Awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011, an On-site Generation Award in 2008, and a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2007.
Green Power Community of the Year
Medford, Oregon Community
In recent years, Medford has reinvigorated the local economy by promoting its green sector, including a push toward renewable energy. Located in Southern Oregon, the area historically thrived off its agriculture and lumber industries, but committed to a greener future after these businesses experienced an economic decline in recent years. In 2010, the City of Medford's Comprehensive Plan outlined renewable energy goals and research opportunities. In 2013, the city teamed up with Pacific Power's Blue Sky program and local partners to launch the Medford Blue Sky Challenge, an 8-month effort to increase participation in Pacific Power's renewable energy program. As a result, program participation grew by 33 percent, and now has about 17 times more participants than the average of other communities in Southern Oregon. Medford became an official EPA Green Power Community in November 2013.
Today, 159 homes and businesses in Medford have installed on-site renewable energy systems. The city also owns two solar photovoltaic systems, and purchases nearly 500,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power each year from Pacific Power's Blue Sky program. Customer contributions also helped in the development of solar projects at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport and will aid further solar installations at a local school and nature center.
Although the Challenge has come to an end, Blue Sky continues to partner with local organizations and residents to publicize renewable energy opportunities. EPA Green Power Community road signs can be seen in the city's high traffic areas, and informational materials from Blue Sky and the municipal water authority can be found in residents' mailboxes.
The Medford community intends to further its role as a green power leader by promoting awareness of and support for renewable energy throughout the Southern Oregon region in the months and years to come.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee Community
Oak Ridge, Tennessee's identity has long been intertwined with the energy sector. Also known as the "Secret City" and the "Atomic City," Oak Ridge was established in 1942 as a Manhattan Project development site. While remaining a secret, the city's population ballooned from 3,000 to more than 75,000 by the end of World War II as it hosted major advances in nuclear technology.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory continues the city's energy tradition by conducting research related to solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower technologies, and purchasing green power for its electricity use. Oak Ridge is recognized as a Platinum Community in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Valley Sustainable Communities Program and has set the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. With city-wide attention focused on using clean energy, Oak Ridge became the Southeast's first EPA Green Power Community in 2014.
In the spring of 2014, Oak Ridge launched a community challenge to encourage greater participation in TVA's renewable energy program, resulting in community-wide green power use of 5.5 percent, and a participation rate nearly three times the rate at the start of the challenge. Residents, businesses, and the local government are using more than 73 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy annually, including more than 126,000 kWh of on-site solar power at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The city also intends to leverage its role as the first Green Power Community in TVA's territory into a leadership position for promoting green power regionally. Using TVA's communication channels along with local outlets, the community's advertising plan includes the use of newsletters, radio ads, community events, mailers, door-to-door canvassing, and social media marketing campaigns.
EPA Green Power Supplier Awards
Green Power Supplier of the Year
3Degrees Group, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, California, with locations nationwide, 3Degrees Group, Inc. provides customized green power products to utilities and renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets to hundreds of Fortune 500® companies, green building firms and other organizations. 3Degrees supports green power and carbon offset initiatives that serve more than 215,000 residential and business customers across the country.
In 2013, 3Degrees delivered more than 7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of RECs from more than 400 generating facilities. Of these facilities, more than 75 percent are wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal generating units that came online in the past eight years. The company delivered more than 34,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of Green-e solar RECs, and supported hundreds of new solar projects nationally - including new solar arrays on 10 schools as part of its Brighter Schools program. As of August 2014, 3Degrees is the top provider of RECs to 15 companies on EPA's Green Power Partnership National Top 100 list.
In 2013, 3Degrees entered into a multi-year, above-market commitment to purchase RECs from the nation's first grid-connected, tidal energy project. It also supported small agricultural digester facilities, wind turbines with integrated battery storage, and bought RECs from a wind farm whose proceeds fund poverty relief efforts.
Through its utility partners, 3Degrees' green power programs reach 14.5 million customers across 12 states. These programs engage and educate potential customers through social media, call centers, community outreach, and extensive door-to-door efforts which have led to the enrollment of about 56,000 customers in voluntary green power programs. To support the local economy and green jobs, 3Degrees supplied only in-state renewables for its green pricing programs in Maine and Missouri. 3Degrees also partnered with Puget Sound Energy to launch its first multi-city community green power challenge and successfully raised participation rates in all five communities to greater than 6 percent – well over the 4 percent PSE average and 2 percent national average.
3Degrees received Green Power Leadership Awards in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric (PGE) is an investor-owned utility serving more than 830,000 customers in 52 Oregon cities. PGE's Renewable Power Program was established in 2002 to create affordable renewable energy alternatives for its customers. Comprised of three regionally-sourced renewable power products, the program now serves more than 100,000 customers, ranking first in the nation for total number of participating renewable power customers and megawatt-hours delivered, as reported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 2013, PGE's renewable energy sales exceeded 740 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and achieved a customer participation rate of more than 11 percent. In total, PGE's Renewable Power Program has supplied customers with more than 4 billion kWh of renewable energy and prevented more than 5 billion pounds of CO2 emissions since 2002.
Green Source℠, PGE's most popular product, offers residential and small business customers the opportunity to source 100 percent of their electricity use from new renewable energy projects for an additional 0.8 cents per kWh over basic service rates. In 2013, this product came from wind, low-impact hydro, biomass, and geothermal energy. PGE's Clean Wind℠ option allows residential and small business customers to purchase small units of new wind generation at a fixed price. A separate Clean Wind℠ product for medium and large business customers is sourced from new wind resources for $2.50 per unit of Clean Wind, in addition to basic service rates. PGE also owns and operates multiple renewable energy facilities.
Through its outreach marketing program with Green Mountain Energy Company, direct outreach efforts through green power challenges, events, farmers' markets and door-to-door sales have resulted in 700,000+ conversations about green power over the last 12 years. PGE's outreach efforts have also helped to qualify six Oregon communities as EPA Green Power Communities. As part of its green power challenges, PGE pioneered the concept of offering a coupon book to residential customers, featuring coupons from businesses participating in PGE's renewable energy programs.
Portland General Electric received Green Power Leadership Awards in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
Renewable Choice Energy
Founded in 2001, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy is a renewable energy and carbon measurement, management, and offset firm. The company works with Fortune 500® companies, educational institutions, small businesses, municipalities, and consulting firms to deliver simple, scalable solutions to the energy and sustainability management landscape. Renewable Choice provided more than four billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in renewable energy certificates (RECs) to more than 270 EPA Green Power Partners in 2014, ranking first in number of partners supplied. The company's "American Wind" RECs support wind farms across the country, and its "Clean Source" RECs are generated from a portfolio of projects including wind farms, biomass facilities, small hydro-electric installations, solar arrays and geothermal plants.
In 2013, Renewable Choice Energy's international REC sales increased by 250 percent, while its sale of carbon offsets grew by more than 300 percent, totaling 330,000 tons of certified carbon. It also provided renewable energy to more than 1,000 LEED projects, a 15 percent increase over 2012. In addition, the company supported more than 70 counterparties in the renewable energy and carbon offset markets, a 40 percent increase over its 2012 commitments. Renewable Choice has published white papers on a variety of clean energy topics, which can be found on its website along with a free carbon calculator, webinars, blogs, press release support, and other content.
Renewable Choice's mission is to create a more sustainable future by engaging organizations to support the generation of renewable energy and the development of carbon reduction projects with the belief that a clean energy future is achievable. The company also provides all of its customers with educational and communications support in the form of an environmental impact statement, access to its online Client Resource Center, and customized marketing efforts.
Renewable Choice Energy received Green Power Leadership Awards in 2006 and 2011.
Washington Gas Energy Services
Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), a retail energy supplier in the Mid-Atlantic region, has a history of innovative green power leadership. In 2002, WGES supported one of the first wind farms in the PJM grid by including wind in the company's standard electricity offer. In 2012, WGES created WGES PA WindPower, a product sourced entirely of local wind power to serve Pennsylvania customers. Today, WGES provides green power throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and partnering with Washington Gas Energy Systems to develop commercial-scale solar photovoltaic systems across the United States.
In 2013, WGES' voluntary green power sales grew nearly 40 percent to more than one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). Green power sales as a percentage of retail sales also hit 10 percent, up from seven percent in 2012, while participation rates grew as well. All of the company's standard electricity offers to residential and small commercial customers include at least 3.5 percent wind power. Since 2003, WGES has included approximately four billion kWh of wind power in its power sales to customers.
WGES recently initiated an integrated marketing campaign to encourage standard electricity customers to choose a 50 percent or 100 percent wind power option and lessen their environmental impact: three months after a customer enrolls with WGES, they receive a letter, followed by an email and a phone call. Other initiatives include a "Green Energy Bundle" that allows customers to green their entire energy supply by choosing wind power and carbon offsets. WGES makes a point to communicate regularly with customers, and when the "polar vortex" of 2013 increased energy costs, the company reached out to variable rate customers to alert them of the impending price increase and offer a special rate to switch to a fixed price contract. In addition, WGES promotes green power within several EPA Green Power Communities including Washington, D.C., and College Park and Rockville, Maryland.
WGES received a Green Power Leadership Award in 2011.