The latest Green Power Partnership update on renewable energy use by businesses, government facilities and educational institutions shows the importance of partners in meeting clean power goals. Western customers—and Western itself—figure prominently on the quarterly list released April 25.
There are now 764 Green Power Partners using renewable energy to meet 100 percent of their U.S. organizationwide electricity use. That is a lot of green kilowatt-hours (kWh)—16 billion annually—to keep the lights on and the equipment humming. The list of power providers needed to supply all that clean electricity is a long one and there are several familiar names on it.
Large, small partnerships
Apple alone purchases renewable energy from more than 30 providers, including Salt River Project, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Silicon Valley Power, City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD). Alpine Bank relies on Holy Cross Energy, San Miguel Power Association, Yampa Valley Electric Association, Delta-Montrose Electric Association and La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) among others to power its 38 branches across Colorado. Fort Collins Utilities is among several providers that supply green power to outdoor equipment retailer REI.
On the other end of the spectrum, Silicon Valley Power meets all the electricity needs of industrial goods manufacturer Roos Instruments. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is the sole green power provider to Wolf Creek Ski Area.
As equipment and installation costs drop, many organizations are adding renewable energy systems on their own facilities. Omaha, Nebraska-based Morrissey Engineering supplements its green power purchase from OPPD with on-site generation. The city of Durango, Colorado, has partnered with LPEA on community solar gardens.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory generates 20 percent of its electricity on-site with solar panels. The remaining 80 percent comes from Western and private renewable energy companies.
Other notable achievements
Western customers appeared in the ranking not just as providers but as partners. The University of Utah came in at number 86 in the overall Top 100 Green Power Partners, and was number 14 in the Top 30 colleges and universities.
Los Angeles World Airports, served by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, ranked 23rd among local government green power users. Sustainability pioneer CPAU was number 28 on that list.
Long-term power contracts, for five years or longer, play an important role in growing the renewable energy market. BD, a global medical technology company, signed a 20-year purchase power agreement with Nebraska Public Power District for more than 120,000,000 kWh of wind power.
Western customers go above and beyond to provide their consumers with the products and services they need, including cleaner, greener electricity. We look forward to seeing their names become a growing presence on future Green Power Partnership lists.
Source: EPA Green Power Partnership via Green Power News, 5/2/16