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Issue 19, April 7, 2014


Partner Spotlight: Testa Produce

Testa Produce's 750 kilowatt on-site wind turbine.
Testa Produce's 750 kilowatt on-site wind turbine.

Testa Produce's roots date back to 1912, with founder Dominick Testa selling stalks of celery door-to-door out of a basket. Now located in Chicago's Industrial Stockyards Park, the company occupies a 91,300 square foot facility, with 18 percent of the facility's annual electricity needs supplied by on-site wind and solar power. A Green Power Partner since April 2012, Testa discusses the company's green power efforts below.

Q. Why did your organization decide to use green power? What do you see as the benefits of using green power?

A. There were several factors that led to Testa making the leap to green power. Most important was the concept of our responsibility to the environment. Our industry is centered on a product that depends on the health of the environment, so it's essential for us to preserve and protect it. Among the numerous benefits of using green power we have discovered are an increase in our competitive edge as well as a huge cost savings. Most of our competitors have not taken the steps that we have to become more sustainable, so we are able to utilize it as a marketing tool. Perhaps the most essential benefit we have experienced is our cost savings – we are generating close to $50,000 a year in savings through our wind and solar power production.

Q. Is your organization currently striving to achieve a green power goal and is there a timeframe?

A. Our current green power goal is to be able to produce 50 percent of our building's energy needs through renewable power sources. While there is no set timeframe, the plan is to add more solar panels, at a higher power output, in order to utilize solar energy more effectively.

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

A. Testa Produce is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Refrigerated Foodservice Distribution Facility in the United States. Our facility utilizes the efficiency of wind power generation through our 750 kilowatt wind turbine and approximately 180 solar photovoltaic panels. All water is heated by means of a solar thermal system containing evacuated tube collectors, which use water as the heating medium, so no gas is used to heat water. The facility also contains an extensive water management system equipped with a 45,000 square foot vegetated roof, 700,000 gallon detention pond, water collection cistern, and exterior bioswales system. In addition, our office spaces, freezer, and outdoor fixtures are illuminated using LED lighting. Our vehicle fleet includes two electric trucks and 10 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles. The next projects will be adding solar panels to the roof and adding more CNG vehicles to the fleet.

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

A. The most important lessons we learned were to make sure you do your homework, research and check costs, and pick the right contractors. Doing your research and knowing as much as you can about the technology you want to use will help ensure that you are getting the best product and the best cost. You will find that if you can dream it, you can do it.

There are always going to be barriers when you attempt something different from the norm, and our biggest roadblocks were that the building codes were not updated with standards for using green technology. We had to work very closely with the City of Chicago to develop and implement certain codes to make some of our technologies possible–specifically our wind turbine.

Read more about Testa Produce's green power efforts here.

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Congratulations to Partners Celebrating Their Ten-Year Anniversary with GPP!

Nearly 30 organizations are celebrating at least ten years of partnering with GPP in the first quarter of 2014.

Agriculture & Natural Resources: New Leaf Paper (Calif.), Columbia Vista Corporation (Wash.)
Architecture Services: Barley + Pfeiffer Architects (Texas)
Chemical: Monsanto Company (Mo.)
Consulting Services: Environmental Concepts, LLC (S.C.), David Evans and Associates, Inc. (Ore.), Pearson (N.J.)
Educational (Other): Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu (Md.)
Food & Beverage: WhiteWave Foods Company (Colo.), Choice Organic Teas (Wash.), Earth Island (Calif.)
Legal Services: Scanlan Buckle & Young (Texas)
Marketing, Advertising & PR: Shoehorn Design (Texas)
Media & Publishing: Time Warner Cable – Central Texas (Texas)
Non-Profit (NGO): Berkeley Chamber of Commerce (S.C.), Renewable Northwest Project (Ore.), Foundation Communities (Texas), Union of Concerned Scientists (Mass.), Massachusetts Audubon Society (Mass.)
Printing & Packaging: Ecoprint (Md.)
Real Estate: American Assets Trust (Ore.), The Tower Companies (Md.)
Restaurants & Cafes: Chipotle / Austin, TX (Texas)
Retail: Wheatsville Food Co-op (Texas)
Technology & Telecom: Bates Investigations (Texas), Sprint (Kan.)

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April Webinar Reminder: Solar Procurement Templates and Tools for Higher Education

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
1:00–2:00 pm (EDT)
Register for this webinar

Installed solar capacity in the higher education sector has grown dramatically in recent years, and for good reason — colleges and universities are taking advantage of dropping solar prices and state and federal incentives, and many see solar as a way to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals and stabilize or reduce energy costs. This webinar will provide specific strategic and tactical guidance for higher education institutions interested in pursuing options for solar power on their facilities, and will offer a host of resources that schools can use to shape and manage the solar procurement process to a successful outcome. Tools for schools interested in solar hot water systems will also be included.

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Green Power Leadership Awards – Application Deadline Extended!

Climate Leadership Awards logo

Reminder – the application period for this year's Green Power Leadership Awards is open, and the deadline has been extended to April 16! The Awards recognize organizations, communities, programs, and suppliers that make significant impacts and help to advance green power market development.

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 Award highlights the accomplishments of green power suppliers (utilities, retail suppliers, REC marketers, and renewable energy project developers) that are leaders in the voluntary renewable energy market.

Visit the Awards section of the GPP website for more information about the awards, including Partner and Supplier Awards categories. The application period will close at 11:59 pm ET on April 16, 2014.

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Top Partner Rankings, College & University Challenge, and Green Power Community Challenge Updates

GPP will update several rankings on April 21, including the Top Partner, College & University Challenge, and Green Power Community Challenge rankings.

This will be the second quarterly update of the Top Partner Rankings for 2014, which highlight the annual green power use of leading Green Power Partners. View the current rankings as of January 2014 on the Top Partner Rankings section of the GPP website.

April 21 also marks the release of the winners of the 2013-2014 College & University Green Power Challenge. The Challenge recognizes a Champion Green Power Conference, as well as the largest single users within each conference. Find the current rankings as of January 2014 in the College & University Green Power Challenge section of the GPP website.

Finally, GPP will issue updated 2013-2014 Green Power Community Challenge rankings. Check out the current rankings and be sure to visit the page on April 21 to see the latest.

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Did You Know?

Total U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector in 2011
Total U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector in 2011

In the United States, electricity production generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector. More than 70 percent of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas.

On Twitter? Post this fact: Electricity generation is responsible for the largest share of US GHG emissions. Learn more at: http://1.usa.gov/N3lYPN

All emission estimates from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011 - http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/sources.html

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GPP Staff Changes

April 17 will mark GPP director Blaine Collison's last day at EPA. Mollie Lemon, current GPP communications director, will manage the program and be the main point of contact for the Partnership. Below, Blaine shares a letter with our Partners and stakeholders.

To the Green Power Partnership Community:

After almost ten years of staffing and leading the Green Power Partnership (and more than 17 years of total service here at EPA), I'm returning to the private sector. I'm staying in the renewable energy market and anticipate continuing to interact with many of you. My last day at GPP will be April 17.

To say that I've enjoyed my work at the GPP would be a vast understatement: This is exactly the kind of work I came to Washington to do so many years ago. The challenges are engaging and the stakes are high.

As I try to wrap up projects and transition GPP leadership to the extremely capable hands of Mollie Lemon, GPP's communications director, I notice again that the voluntary green power market - which had once been predicted to be a place for only "well-off, super-green hybrid drivers" - has instead become a literal powerhouse of corporate and institutional leadership. I notice that we have more than 1,500 Green Power Partners of all shapes and sizes and that they're all making a deliberate choice to buy renewable energy. I notice the number of obstacles that Partners have overcome. I notice the incredible innovations that this market has facilitated: contract structures, RECs, internal carbon fees, and more. I notice that the Green Power Partnership has blown away its original growth projections thanks to our collective efforts.

What I most notice are the incredible people who are engaged here. It's been my privilege to call you colleagues and an even greater privilege to call many of you friends.

So: Keep fighting the good fight. Keep innovating and engaging internal and external stakeholders. Keep saying "what if we" and "how do we."

I look forward to our next collaboration.

With every best wish and every thanks,


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Washington, DC Issues RFP for On-site Solar Power Purchase Agreements

The Washington, DC Department of General Services recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals from qualified on-site solar PV project developers for solar power generation systems at multiple locations throughout DC. It is expected that the systems will be developed at approximately 50 municipal facilities with 10 megawatts of total capacity. The Department of General Services intends to enter into 20-year term PPA(s) with the selected offerer(s).

Responses to the RFP are due by 2:00 pm EDT on Friday, May 30, 2014.

More information and a link to the RFP: http://dgs.dc.gov/node/804192.

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EPA ENERGY STAR's Battle of the Buildings

The EPA ENERGY STAR "Battle of the Buildings" is back for 2014. Across the country, buildings will compete to see which can save the most energy and water. This year's competition has a slight twist in that teams of buildings will compete against each other.

Teams will compete to see who can reduce energy use the most, on a percentage basis, between calendar years 2013 and 2014. Teams can also choose to compete for recognition as a top water saver. Even if you can't field a team, you can still participate.

For more information and to enter the competition, visit www.energystar.gov/battleofthebuildings.

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Thanks for Making Every Day Earth Day!

April 22nd marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Throughout the years, Earth Day has inspired appreciation and awareness of our environment and the collective steps we can take to reduce our environmental impacts. In recognition of Earth Day 2014, the Green Power Partnership would like to extend our sincere thanks to our more than 1,500 Partners who have collaborated with us to accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide. Their leadership in using more than 29 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually will avoid an estimated 22 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 4.2 million passenger vehicles. Thanks for doing your part to make every day Earth Day!

Join GPP's LinkedIn Group now!

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

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Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 18, March 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 17, February 10, 2014
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

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