Saturday, May 2, 2009

Top 50 Green Power Purchasers....Online Version Link Below_Green Earl

Top 50 U.S. Purchasers of Green Power as Ranked by the EPA May 2nd, 2009

Who is buying clean energy and how much are they buying? Answers to questions like these are important for consumers to know. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership tries to answer these questions by providing a sense of which organizations are conscientious about their energy use. Aside from political votes, one of the most powerful tools the public can use to have a say in the energy debate is their collective wallet. Money talks. Companies listen to what it’s saying and where it’s going. Companies that incorporate sustainable practices into their business model not only reduce expenses but may get a PR boost by touting their green credentials to consumers who are increasing interested in sustainability. The EPA’s ranking of organizations based on the amount of green power they use also raises awareness for renewable energy. As mentioned on the EPA’s website:

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has hundreds of Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities.

The most recent National Top 50 Green Power Purchasers can be seen in their entirety here. Below is the top 10.
Annual Green Power Usage (kWh) GP % of Total Electricity Use* Organization Type Providers Green Power Resources
1. Intel Corporation
1,301,200,000 46% Information Technology PNM, Sterling Planet Wind
2. PepsiCo
1,144,773,154 100% Food & Beverage 3Degrees, Sterling Planet Various
3. Kohl’s Department Stores
600,990,000 50% Retail 3Degrees, City of Dover, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sterling Planet, SunEdison, WM Renewable Energy Biogas, Biomass, Small-hydro, Solar, Wind
4. Dell Inc.
553,708,000 158% Information Technology 3Degrees, Austin Energy, Constellation NewEnergy, Greenhouse Gas Services, Idaho Power, MidAmerican Energy, TXU Energy Biogas, Solar, Wind
5. Whole Foods Market
526,995,000 100% Retail Austin Energy, Community Energy, Onsite Generation, PNM, Renewable Choice Energy Solar, Wind
6. The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc.
470,216,838 100% Food & Beverage 3Degrees, Sterling Planet Various
7. Johnson & Johnson
434,854,733 38% Health Care 3Degrees, NextEra Energy Resources, Onsite Generation, PNM, Reliant Energy, Sempra Energy Biomass, Small-hydro, Solar, Wind
8. U.S. Air Force
426,233,001 5% Govt. (Federal) 3 Phases Renewables, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bonneville Power Administration, Colorado Springs Utilities, Constellation NewEnergy, Georgia Power, Minnkota Power Cooperative, NextEra Energy Resources, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Rocky Mountain Generation Cooperative, Sterling Planet, TransAlta Energy Marketing, WindCurrent Biogas, Biomass, Solar, Wind
9. Cisco Systems, Inc.
400,996,000 46% Information Technology Austin Energy, Sterling Planet Wind
10. City of Houston, TX
350,400,000 27% Govt. (Local, Municipal) Reliant Energy Wind

A few interesting points:

1) The chart shows the enormity of the energy used by the U.S. military. The Air Force, only one of five service branches, is the 8th largest purchaser of green power featured on the list but those 426 million kWh represent only 5% of the Air Force’s total electricity use. Their campus, by the way, has a plan to be energy independent by 2015.

2) The city of Houston, TX is the highest ranking municipality on the list. Texas has the country’s largest amount of installed wind power capacity. This includes the largest wind farm in the world, Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, which has 421 wind turbines that generate enough electricity to power 220,000 homes per year (from the department of energy’s kid’s page).

3) Sterling Planet comes up often as a provider in the list. A cursory web search showed they are based outside Atlanta and focus their efforts in three areas: 1) offering White TagsTM energy efficiency certificates 2) providing renewable energy certificates or RECs and 3) working with carbon offsets. If any one has more information about Sterling Planet’s activities, please let us know.

The EPA explains that “green power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.” The amount of green power purchases is limited only to an organization’s U.S. operations must come from U.S.-based green power resources. Organizations can meet EPA purchase requirements using any combination of three different product options (1) Renewable Energy Certificates, (2) On-site generation, and (3) Utility green power products.

One of the beauties of the electric grid is that it can get greener over time as renewable technologies expand and plug into the system in increasing numbers. Combined with smart grid updates and smart meters, which help conserve energy, there is enormous potential to green the domestic grid.

- Justin Manger

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This entry was posted on Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 6:24 pm and is filed under Clean Technology, Green Economy, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
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