Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Green Power Partnership

Green Power Partnership Program Updates

Many of the links listed on this page are not on the EPA website. Please see our disclaimer information. Exit EPA Disclaimer

Issue 17, February 10, 2014


Partner Spotlight: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Aerial photo of solar photovoltaics on the roof of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Chico, CA headquarters
Aerial photo of solar photovoltaics on the roof of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Chico, CA headquarters.

Established in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is located in Chico, CA and is one of the top craft breweries in the United States. The company is committed to leaving the smallest footprint possible without jeopardizing its high standards for quality. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. uses on-site solar and has been a Green Power Partner since 2007.

Q. Why did Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. decide to use green power? What do you see as the benefits of using green power and what role does it play in your organization's broader business and environmental strategy?

A. At Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., sustainability means recognizing the impacts associated with our operations and making a conscious effort to reduce them. We strive to maintain a healthy balance between environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic stability, and we realize that long-term thinking is required for a fully effective sustainable business plan. Our approach to green power is a direct result of this philosophy. As our electrical demand grew over the years, we realized that we needed a reliable source of energy and wanted it to be clean and renewable. We did not want to strain our local electrical grid and now find that during peak electrical demand times we often contribute excess renewable energy to the grid.

Q. Describe any innovative green power strategies Sierra Nevada has implemented or is planning. Do you have any upcoming projects or strategies that relate to your organization's green power usage?

A. Our green energy strategy first began with energy efficiency to make sure we were using our electricity as efficiently as possible. We implemented this through lighting upgrades, installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on all motors and pumps, purchasing newer and more efficient equipment, and addressing employee behaviors. We then installed a one megawatt (MW) hydrogen fuel cell system in 2005 to cover our base load. The ultimate goal was to power the fuel cells with biogas produced at our onsite waste water treatment plant but unfortunately, that did not work out as planned. Instead, we recover our biogas and use it to partially fuel our boilers. The fuel cells generated 55 percent of our total energy needs for our Chico, CA brewery in 2013. In 2008, we began installation on what is now two MW of solar photovoltaics on all available roof spaces. In 2013, solar power generated almost 22 percent of our total energy needs for the facility.

In 2012, we began construction on a second brewery in Mills River, NC which will mirror the efforts we have put in place in Chico. That brewery will have 600 kilowatt (kW) of roof top and parking lot mounted solar panels. We will also be recovering the biogas produced at our onsite waste water treatment plant and using it to fuel two 400 kW microturbines to generate electricity.

Q. What are two or three lessons you've learned in making the switch to green power or in increasing your green power use?

A. Utilizing a diverse approach to green power including various forms of generation and energy efficiency is important. Your local climate, the cost of electricity, and varying regional incentives all impact what technologies work best in certain applications. One can generate all the green power in the world, but if that power is not used efficiently the original purpose has been lost, so energy efficiency needs to be a central part of any energy management plan.

Read more about Sierra Nevada's sustainability programs here.

Top of Page

EPA's Greenversations Blog Features GPP

Greenversations is EPA's collection of public blogs. Check out today's post on reasons to use green power and how our Green Power Partners are contributing to a healthier environment for all of us. And help us spread the word! Tweet this: #EPAGreenPower Partners help keep our air clean and healthy. Find out more at EPA's Greenversations blog!

Top of Page

GPP in the News

Our Partners are talking about their commitments to green power in recent blog posts:

Cisco, Partner since January 2006 and No. 15 on our National Top 100 List, on its two new solar photovoltaic installations:
Both of these projects are expected to be completed by July 2014, which will quadruple our company-wide onsite solar capacity to more than 1.7 megawatts, equal to the annual electricity use of approximately 206 U.S. homes. (Jan. 8 blog post)

Rackspace US Inc., Partner since January 2013, on being ranked No. 16 on our Top 30 Tech & Telecom List:
As a key tenet of our Global Energy Policy, Rackspace is fully committed to using renewables, and we are constantly evaluating and assessing options to add more in our global mix...We're truly honored and excited that the EPA has recognized our devotion to leveraging renewable energy. We look forward to another great year working toward a greener, greater future and to building a better planet together. (Jan. 27 blog post)

Recent Press Releases and Other Blog Posts:
Feb. 4, Green Schools Alliance Selects Renewable Energy Provider for New Consortium
Jan. 31, EPA Partnerships Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Save Businesses Money
Jan. 28, Chicago Park District Ranked on EPA's National Top 100 List of Green Power Users

Recent Articles:
Feb. 3, Environmental Leader, Firms Cut Costs, GHGs with EPA Climate Programs
Jan. 30, Green Retail Decisions, Levi, Backcountry.com and Coldwater Creek Make Green Power Partners List
Jan. 29, Greenbiz, Intel, Microsoft, Kohl's Lead EPA's Green Power Ranking

For more news on the Partnership, please visit the GPP Newsroom.

Top of Page

Save the Date for the 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards Application Period

The 2014 application period for the annual Green Power Leadership Awards opens Monday, February 24, with a deadline of Monday, April 7. EPA's Partner Awards (formerly Purchaser Awards) recognize leading Green Power Partners and Communities that have helped further the green power market through their green power purchase or use of on-site renewable energy applications, overall green power strategy, and impact on the green power market. EPA's Supplier Awards highlight the accomplishments of green power suppliers (utilities, retail suppliers, REC marketers, and renewable energy project developers) that are innovators and leaders in the voluntary renewable energy market. For more information about the awards, including Partner and Supplier Awards categories, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/index.htm.

Top of Page

Special Advertising Opportunity for Partners: Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine

The Green Power Partnership is pleased to inform Partners of an opportunity to participate in a paid advertising supplement in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine in the April 21, 2014 issue to coincide with Earth Day. Along with highlighting the Partnership and Partners, the section will be designed to educate the corporate community on ways forward-thinking organizations are strategically using green power to meet their environmental and greenhouse gas reduction goals. You can find previous advertising supplements here.

The advertising deadline is March 7, with materials due March 31. For more information, please contact: Jordan Hyman (jhyman10@bloomberg.com), Bloomberg Businessweek, at 212-617-3709.

Top of Page

GPP By the Numbers

Using green power can have a multitude of benefits ranging from brand differentiation to reducing an organization's carbon footprint. The pie chart below shows some of the reasons why our Partners choose to use green power.


On Twitter? Tweet this: See what's motivating #EPAGreenPower Partners to use renewable energy — http://1.usa.gov/1jq9Czv.

Top of Page

Upcoming Webinar: Smart Roofs: Portfolio-Based Roof Asset and Energy Management

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
1:00-2:00 pm (EST)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership
Register for this webinar

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (EST), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar entitled "Smart Roofs: Portfolio-Based Roof Asset and Energy Management."

The way you manage your roofs can have a big impact on your energy consumption and carbon footprint, and position you as a community leader. This webinar will demonstrate, through a case study in our nation's capital, how you can turn your roofs from a liability into a sustainable asset. The Washington, D.C. Department of General Services is successfully integrating roof asset and energy management to reduce its energy use by 20 percent across its entire municipal portfolio, including schools, police and fire facilities, and parks and recreation buildings. The municipality includes 435 buildings with more than 40 million square feet.

Participants will learn about how to implement the following Smart Roof Objectives:

  1. Conserving Energy: Insulating, air-barrier, and daylighting
  2. Reducing Runoff: Collecting, retaining, and re-using rainwater
  3. Reflecting Heat: Reducing temperatures across the city
  4. Collecting Solar Energy: Producing electricity and hot water
  5. Managing Carbon: Tracking and reducing carbon footprints
  6. Leading: Identifying and demonstrating best practices

Speakers will include:

  • Blaine Collison, Program Director, U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership
  • Sam Brooks, Director, D.C. Department of General Services, Energy & Sustainability Division
  • Paul Lanning, Vice President, BLUEFIN, LLC, a national roof management company.

Top of Page

Green Power Communities: Proposed Adjustment – Achieving GPC Status via Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)

The Green Power Partnership (GPP) proposes to add a new pathway for localities seeking to be recognized as Green Power Communities (GPC).

The new option will apply ONLY to localities that have implemented Community Choice Aggregations (CCA). At present, CCAs are available only in CA, IL, OH, MA, NJ, and RI, as enabled by state legislation.

Under the new pathway, a CCA locality that has met or exceeded the established GPC minimum green power usage benchmark as a result of its CCA purchase will be eligible for GPC recognition.

This assumes that the green power purchased via the CCA meets GPP requirements for facility, resource and vintage eligibility.

A CCA locality applying for GPC recognition will still be required to provide its total aggregate electricity load even though CCA procurements generally exclude large commercial and institutional loads as well as municipal loads. As a result, when a CCA locality is listed on the GPC Web page, its percentage of load met by green power will be calculated against the provided aggregate total locality load (including large commercial and institutional as well as municipal loads). An example: Anytown USA purchases 100 percent green power for its entire residential and small commercial load. But the large private and municipal loads represent another 25 percent of electricity usage. The GPP would list Anytown USA @ 75 percent of load met with green power.

An appropriate representative from the Anytown USA government would be required to sign the GPC Agreement, and Anytown USA would be listed as a GPC. Anytown USA would not be listed separately as a Green Power Partner unless it makes a qualifying green power procurement for its own municipal electricity consumption.

Notwithstanding the Green Power Partner listing, a CCA-based GPC would be eligible for all other GPP recognition and support resources, awards, etc.

The current GPC pathway for localities not implementing CCAs will continue to be available without adjustment.

EPA is seeking comments from stakeholders on this proposed adjustment. Comments may be directed to Blaine Collison (collison.blaine@epa.gov) or via phone @ 202-343-9139. Comments will be accepted through 12 pm ET on Monday, February 24. The final decision will be announced by Friday, February 28.

Top of Page

EPA Releases Green Power Procurement Guide for Local Governments

EPA's State and Local Climate & Energy Program has released a new climate and energy strategy guide for local governments, titled, Green Power Procurement: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs (PDF) (36 pp, 890K). This guide provides comprehensive information for local government staff and policy makers on how to procure green power, including:

  • Products/technologies and their applications
  • Environmental, energy, and economic benefits
  • Steps for designing procurement plans/installations
  • Key stakeholders to engage
  • Policy mechanisms for initiating programs
  • Implementation strategies for success
  • Costs and funding opportunities

This guide is part of EPA's Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, which is designed to help policy makers and program staff plan, implement and evaluate cost-effective climate and energy projects that generate environmental, economic, social and human health benefits. To access other guides in this series, please visit the Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series page.

Top of Page

Get Involved: Join GPP's LinkedIn Group

Did you know that GPP has a LinkedIn Group where you can learn the latest news about the Partnership and green power? If you aren't already a member, it's easy to join – simply search for the group "Green Power Partnership" and ask to join. As part of the group, you will get updates on the Partnership and can contribute to the conversation.

Join GPP's LinkedIn Group now!

Not yet using green power but ready to start? Ready to join the Green Power Partnership? GPP logo

Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 16, January 13, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 15, December 19, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 14, November 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 13, October 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 12, September 9, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 11, August 12, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 10, July 15, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 9, June 17, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 8, May 13, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 7, April 8, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 6, March 11, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 5, February 20, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 4, January 14, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 3, December 17, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 2, November 26, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 1, October 22, 2012

Top of Page

Jump to main content.