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EPA Reveals Green Leadership Award Winners

Google, Intel, Kohl’s, Staples and the Empire State Building were among the winners of the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Awards, presented yesterday in San Francisco.

The awards, made in conjunction with the Department of Energy and the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions, are designed to recognize organizations, programs and individuals that significantly advance the development of green power sources.

The four companies and the New York landmark all won Green Power Partner of the Year awards, which recognize members of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market.

The winners of the Green Power Purchasing award, which recognizes partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate supplier, were Adobe Systems Inc., Allegheny College, Datapipe, Inc., Franklin & Marshall College, Jackson Family Wines, Mercyhurst College, MetLife, Santa Clara University, State Street Corporation, and the University of Central Oklahoma.

Awards for on-site generation went to the city of San Francisco and to SC Johnson & Son. Winners for green power community of the year were Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C.

The City of San Francisco, Intel Corporation, Kohl’s Department Stores, and Staples are all previous winners of EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award.

In addition, the DOE gave out the following awards:

  • Non-Utility Green Power Supplier of the Year: 3Degrees, Washington Gas Energy Services
  • Utility Green Power Program of the Year: DTE Energy
  • Innovative Green Power Program of the Year: Clean Energy Collective

Some further details on a few of the winners:

Google has invested more than $850 million in renewable energy companies and projects expected to create more than 1.7 GW of renewables, including the largest residential solar fund in the U.S. and the world’s largest wind project, the Alta Wind Energy Center, as well as the 370 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System and a 42 percent stake in the $5 billion Atlantic Wind Connection. The company has installed a 1.6 MW solar PV installation at its headquarters, signed power purchase agreements with wind farms expected to provide at least 15 percent of its electricity consumption, and pursued internal R&D aimed at driving down the costs of renewable electricity.

The Empire State Building has made a two-year commitment to buy nearly 55 million kWh of green power, making it one of New York City’s largest commercial purchasers of 100 percent green power. The building was the subject of a retrofit that will reduce its energy consumption by nearly 40 percent and $4.4 a year.

Intel has been the country’s biggest voluntary buyer of green power (as shown in the EPA’s latest rankings of its Green Power Partners), this year increasing its green power usage by 75 percent, from about 1.4 billion kWh to over 2.5 billion kWh, or about 90 percent of its U.S. electricity use. It also has 12 solar energy systems with more due to be completed this year.

Kohl’s gets 100 percent of its purchased electricity from renewable sources, and increased its green power purchases by 60 percent from 2009 to 2010. The company has more than 100 solar arrays, which provide 20 to 40 percent of the power for the locations they service.

Staples this year bought green power equal to almost 53 percent of its energy consumption, double its 2010 purchase levels. It has solar arrays on 34 sites. The company has 10 MW of on-site electric generating capacity and plans to increase this to 50 MW within five years.

SC Johnson has taken steps to minimize its impact for decades, the EPA said.. The company generates the daily base load of electricity for Waxdale, its 2.2 million square foot facility in Sturtevant, Wis., through one bio-gas turbine and a second cogeneration turbine that uses a combination of landfill and natural gas. Together, these turbines also generate between half and all the steam needed for the plant’s operations.

In 2010, the company installed three SWIFT micro wind turbines at its Racine, Wis. Headquarters, and it also has a 3 MW turbine at its plant in Mijdrecht, Netherlands.

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