Public power utilities, including several Western customers, scored well in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s “Top 10” rankings of utility green power programs for 2010.
Ranked by renewable energy sales, Sacramento Municipal Utility District sold the fourth largest amount of renewable energy (kWh/year) in the nation (including investor-owned utilities). SMUD was the only public power utility to crack the top 10 in total number of customer participants in green power programs, ranking fourth in that category as well.
Using information provided by utilities, NREL developed rankings of utility green power programs for 2010 in a variety of categories. Other Western customers appearing in the Top 10 included:
- Palo Alto, Calif., Utilities, first nationwide in percentage of customer participation
- Silicon Valley Power in Santa Clara, Calif., seventh in customer participation
- Moorhead, Minn., Public Service, fifth in lowest in price premium charged
NREL recently added the category of community solar programs to its ratings, giving Western customers another chance to shine. Holy Cross Energy, SMUD, St. George, Utah, and United Power placed sixth through eighth. Community solar programs allow customers to purchase a share of a solar system developed in their community and receive the benefits of the energy that is produced by their share.
The Green Power assessment was performed by NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC), which integrates technical and economic analyses and leads NREL’s efforts in applying clean energy technologies to both national and international markets.