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Green Power Planet #36
November 13, 2012

In this edition of the Green Power Planet:

GPP: A Year in Review

As 2012 comes to a close, the Green Power Partnership has nearly 1,400 Partners. As of November 1, the Partnership has gained almost 300 new Partners this year. The new Partners have come from a wide variety of sectors, with strong representation from higher education, local government, and technology and telecom. Total green power use by Partners has grown to nearly 24 billion kWh (see Figure 1), with the majority being supplied by renewable energy certificates (RECs), followed by utility green power products and on-site generation (see Figure 2). The Partnership's number of Green Power Communities has grown to 35 with the addition of six new communities. Total green power use by communities now totals nearly five billion kWh.

Figure 1 Figure 2

EPA's Green Power Partnership Recognizes 24 Partners and 3 Suppliers for Green Power Leadership

GPP Award On September 24, EPA recognized 24 Partners and three suppliers with Green Power Leadership Awards for their leadership, commitment, and contribution to helping advance the nation's voluntary green power market. The Green Power Partnership (GPP) presented the awards in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference held September 23-25, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Partner of the Year recognizes Partners that distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market.

On-site Generation recognizes Partners that stand out by using on-site renewable energy applications.

Green Power Purchasing recognizes Partners that distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier.

Green Power Community of the Year recognizes GPCs that distinguish themselves through their green power usage, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy, and impact on the green power market.

Sustained Excellence in Green Power recognizes continual leadership in advancing green power development.

For the first time, GPP also presented Green Power Leadership Awards to three suppliers.

Green Power Supplier of the Year recognizes green power suppliers (utilities, retail suppliers, REC marketers, renewable energy project developers) that are leaders in offering voluntary renewable energy to their customers.

Innovative Green Power Program of the Year recognizes green power suppliers that are leaders in designing and implementing innovative voluntary renewable energy offerings.

Congratulations to all our Green Power Leadership Award Winners! To learn more about this year's winners, visit the 2012 Award Winners Web page.

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Washington, DC and Oak Park, IL Win Second Annual Green Power Community Challenge

On September 24, EPA recognized the Washington, DC Green Power Community and the Oak Park, IL Green Power Community as the winners of the second annual Green Power Community Challenge. The Challenge is a year-long campaign to encourage cities, towns, villages, and tribal governments to use renewable energy and fight climate change. During the Challenge, Communities competed to see which one could achieve the highest green power percentage of total electricity use and which one could use the most green power.

In 2011-2012, the Washington, DC Community used more green power than any other GPC in the country, with District residents, businesses, non-profits, schools, federal agencies, and the District government using more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power.

In the Oak Park, IL Community, close to 92 percent of Oak Park's local government, residential and business electricity usage comes from green power sources, the highest percentage of green power use among all GPCs.

At the conclusion of the Challenge, EPA's Green Power Communities were collectively using nearly five billion kWh of green power annually, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from the annual electricity use of more than 426,000 average American homes.

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New Top 20 Tech & Telecom Partner List

New Top 20 Tech EPA recently released quarterly updates for the Green Power Partnership's Top 30 Tech & Telecom list, which debuted in July 2012, and acknowledges the growing participation of Partners from the technology and telecommunications industry.

Altogether, Tech & Telecom Partners use more than five billion kWh of green energy annually, which is equivalent to the electricity needed to power more than 441,000 average American homes. Intel, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Sprint, and Dell continue to hold the top five spots on the list, which they have held since the list's inception. In the last quarter, Apple Computers / Austin, TX facilities moved from 20th to 17th place, while Datapipe, Inc. jumped from 11th to 8th place. The quarter's big mover was SAP America, which rose from 17th to 11th place by increasing its green power purchase from approximately 19.7 million kWh to more than 41.6 million kWh—a 110 percent increase. Samsung Electronics Co. made its first appearance on the list this quarter, taking the 16th spot in the rankings.

EPA's Top Partner lists are updated quarterly, and the next update is scheduled for January 2013. To review the complete Top 30 Tech & Telecom list, click here.

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Change to GPP Partnership Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2013, organizations joining the Partnership must meet EPA's green power usage requirements (see below) at the time of signing the Partnership Agreement. Previously, organizations were given six months to meet or exceed Partnership requirements for green power use. GPP staff has found that the vast majority of organizations already meet these requirements at the time of joining the Partnership. The GPP website and program documents will be updated to reflect this change.

Key Green Power Partnership Requirements

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Partner Spotlight: Green Power Partners Luther College and University of Minnesota, Morris

windmill The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new video series, entitled "Clean Energy in Our Communities", which features small communities around the country that are trying to become more sustainable while investing in the green economy.

Two of the first videos featured Green Power Partners Luther College and the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Last fall, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa installed a 1.6 megawatt wind turbine, and this summer the college established the largest zero-emission facility in Iowa by using a 280 kilowatt solar field to power a 100-plus student residential housing complex. The housing complex also uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling. Luther College has a goal of cutting its carbon footprint in half by 2015 and becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMN-Morris) is also committed to using renewable energy technologies to power its campus. The school has installed two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines which produce enough power to account for about 60 percent of the campus's electricity needs annually. The first turbine, operated by the school's West Central Research and Outreach Center, began generating power in 2005 and was the first large-scale wind research turbine at a U.S.-based public university. The second turbine began operations in 2011.

UMN-Morris also purchases 3,000 tons of corn cobs annually to use in its biomass plant, which helps provide heating and cooling for more than 150 days at full production. It has the potential to produce power for longer periods of time depending on the heating and cooling needs of a particular year. All of the corn cobs are purchased from local farms, generating as much as $240,000 in revenue for the local economy.

In addition, UMN-Morris houses the Regional Fitness Center, a campus/community partnership center that serves the greater community. The school heats the center's swimming pool using 32 solar thermal arrays, helping to avoid approximately 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year. UMN won a Green Power Leadership Award in 2005 in recognition of its commitment to furthering the development of the green power market.

Visit DOE's website for more information on the Clean Energy in Our Communities video series.

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Renewable Energy Tips & Trends

Revised FTC Green Guides Released

On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released revised versions of the "Green Guides," which outline best practices for marketers of green products and services. Studies have shown that consumers often interpret green claims differently than marketers intend, and the Green Guides explain what should and should not be said about environmental attributes of different products in order to keep consumers informed. This most recently revised version of the Green Guides includes new information about renewable energy claims, carbon offsets, and certifications and seals of approval.

The Guides take into account more than 5,000 comments by industry professionals and consumers, as well as information from public workshops and a study of how customers perceive environmental claims. In addition to the Green Guides document, the FTC has also produced several educational documents to help users understand the Guides. The Green Guides and related information can be found at the FTC website: www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/10/greenguides.shtm.

NREL Releases New Report on Innovations in Renewable Energy Procurement

NREL Report CoverIn "Innovations in Voluntary Renewable Energy Procurement: Methods for Expanding Access and Lowering Cost for Communities, Governments, and Businesses (PDF)", (36 pp, 1M, About PDF) the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explores five innovative options for voluntarily procuring renewable energy generation or systems:

  1. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)
  2. Community wind and solar programs
  3. Green power challenges and local collaborative electricity procurement
  4. Bulk purchasing of on-site systems
  5. Reverse auctions for renewable energy

Read the full report (PDF) (36 pp, 1M).

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Special Advertising Opportunity: Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine

Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine The Green Power Partnership is pleased to once again offer Partners an opportunity to participate in an EPA-branded paid advertising supplement in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine in the April 15, 2013 issue to coincide with Earth Day. The deadline to submit materials to the magazine is March 5, 2013. Previous advertising supplements can be found here. If you would like more information about this opportunity, please contact Jordan Hyman (jhyman10@bloomberg.com) at (212) 617-3709.

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Upcoming Webinars

Solar Economics: The Benefits of Hedging with Solar Power
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
1:00-2:00 pm (EST)

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (EST), the Green Power Partnership will host a webinar on "Solar Economics: The Benefits of Hedging with Solar Power." Aided by favorable financing terms and high solar incentives in many markets, large-scale and multi-site solar installations are leading to significant cost savings for customers. By leveraging economies of scale to improve the financial advantages of solar power, solar installations can lead to lower-cost energy that reduces current expenses and hedges against utility price increases. This webinar will explore the broader U.S. solar market and pricing context and the decision-making implications for organizations considering solar.

The webinar will feature a presentation from the President and co-founder of SoCore Energy, one of the largest solar developers in the U.S. serving multisite retailers, Real Estate Investment Trusts and industrial clients.

Speakers include:

  • Blaine Collison, Program Director, U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership
  • Pete Kadens, President and co-founder, SoCore Energy

Global Warming's Six Americas: Understanding and Communicating with a Diverse Public
Friday, December 7, 2012
1:00-2:00 pm (EST)

On Friday, December 7, 2012, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (EST), the Green Power Partnership will host a webinar on "Global Warming's Six Americas: Understanding and Communicating with a Diverse Public." Americans differ in their beliefs and concern about climate change. Understanding the differences is vital to effective engagement and to bring about positive behavioral change. Insight into stakeholders' views can help organizations communicate the importance of using green power and saving energy. The webinar will feature a presentation from Dr. Edward Maibach, Professor and Director of George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication.

Dr. Maibach will provide a summary of recent findings from the "Climate Change in the American Mind" and "Global Warming's Six Americas" audience research studies conducted by George Mason University and Yale University. He will address a range of topics including recent increases in public engagement in climate change, perceptions about extreme weather and its relationship to climate change, and public policy preferences.

Speakers include:

  • Blaine Collison, Program Director, U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership
  • Dr. Edward Maibach, University Professor & Director, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University

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Contacting EPA's Green Power Partnership

Please feel free to contact the Green Power Partnership:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Green Power Partnership
Fax: 202-343-2208
Web site: www.epa.gov/greenpower

Program Director - Blaine Collison (collison.blaine@epa.gov or 202-343-9139)
Communications - Mollie Lemon (lemon.mollie@epa.gov or 202-343-9859)

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