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California Renewable Energy Generation Recognized by EPA

Green power partners generate electricity on-site from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.

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For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership recognized 20 partners from across the nation for generating the most green electricity on site.  Eight of the organizations are located in California, listed below.

•           Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Whittier, CA –  54 percent green power

•           City of San Diego, CA – 27 percent green power

•           San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant – 56 percent green power

•           City of San Francisco, CA – Percentage of Green Power 3 percent green power

•           Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. / California and Texas Facilities –8 percent green power

•           Macy's Inc. / California and Hawaii Stores – 3 percent green power

•           Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, CA – 3 percent green power

•           Alameda County, CA / GSA Facilities – 11 percent green power

Combined, the top 20 partners are generating and consuming more than 736 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of on-site green power annually.  This is equivalent to the electricity needed to power more than 61,000 American homes annually. 

The partners’ contributions are helping to expand America's renewable energy portfolio, improve the nation’s energy security, and reduce their organizations’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Clean Energy Economy

     “These companies are leading a nationwide move to the clean energy economy, one that can create million of jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and protect against global climate change,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.  "Our Green Power Partnership leaders are setting the standard for our clean energy future."

     Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. On-site green power is deployed directly at energy users' facilities rather than at central power plants. Green power electricity generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership

     EPA’s Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,100 partner organizations to voluntarily purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use.  Overall, the partners are buying more than 16 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from electricity use of more than 1.6 million American homes.

More about some of California’s green power partners:

     The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts provide environmentally sound, cost-effective wastewater and solid waste management for over half the population of Los Angeles County.  A key part of the Districts' mission is to turn waste into energy, reclaimed water, and recyclables.  The Districts are committed to converting every feasible biogas resource into energy, both to use on site and to export into the local power grid.  Since 1983, the Districts have been generating renewable energy from biogas, which allows it to conserve resources, provides it facilities with power independent of the local grid, maintains utility price certainty, and keeps user fees low. Currently the Districts meet a significant portion of their electricity needs with on-site biomass.

     The City of San Diego, California, a 2003 Green Power Leadership Award winner, is pursuing energy independence and becoming a model city by using renewable energy resources and energy conservation.  The City has a commitment to produce 50 MW of renewable energy in San Diego within the next decade.  In meeting this commitment, the City operates a gas utilization facility located in the Point Loma Waste Water Treatment Plant (PLWWTP).  This cogeneration facility is powered by methane gas and generates 4.57 MW of electricity.  In addition, PLWWTP employs a hydroelectric facility producing another 1.35 MW of power generated by the 100-foot drop of treated sewage flow exiting the plant into the ocean.  The plant recently added a 1.2-MW generator peaking unit that runs on 80 percent digester gas and 20 percent diesel fuel.  This is the first time any existing diesel generator has been converted into a peaking unit utilizing digester gas.

     The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department within the City and County of San Francisco that provides retail drinking water, wastewater services, and hydroelectric power to the City and County of San Francisco.  The SFPUC undertakes energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through its Power Enterprise Group.  These projects support the City's environmental goals, as stated in the Mayor's Executive Directives for Municipal Solar, Green Buildings, Energy Conservation, and in the Electricity Resource and Climate Action Plans.  The SFPUC currently operates over 2MW of photovoltaic projects located throughout the City and County of San Francisco.  The first project was installed in 2003 at the Moscone Convention Center and the most recent 492 kWp project was installed at the San Francisco International Airport.

     Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America.  The company operates 1764 stores in the United States and Canada under the banners of Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick's, Carrs, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Pak 'n Save, and Genuardi's.  In 2008 Safeway committed to purchase enough renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of the electricity usage at its retail gasoline stations in the US, the corporate campus facilities, as well as all supermarkets located in San Francisco, CA and Boulder, CO.

     Alameda County, California, a two time Green Power Leadership Award winner, is a national leader in onsite solar installations for local governments, with 3.1 megawatts (MW) of onsite solar generation capacity at nine County-owned facilities. Alameda County's efforts reflect a continuing dedication to developing local, renewable energy sources and raising public awareness of green power. Thanks to its renewable energy initiatives, Alameda County is meeting a significant share of its electrical needs in County facilities with clean, reliable green power.

More information on top 20 on-site users of green power:

More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership:

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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