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EPA Honors Coke, Microsoft, Whole Foods, 21 Other Companies in Green Power Leadership Awards

Coca-Cola Refreshments, Microsoft, Whole Foods and Lockheed Martin were among the winners of the EPA’s 2012 Green Power Leadership Awards.

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

In total, the EPA honored 24 Green Power Partners and three suppliers for their achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable electricity market.

The EPA also announced the winners of the second annual Green Power Community Challenge, a national competition between communities to use renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the Green Power Community of the Year award, Oak Park, Ill. also won the community challenge for achieving the highest green power percentage of total electricity use, at 92 percent. Washington, D.C. won the challenge for using the most green power annually, for a second year in a row, with more than 1 billion kWh.

Some further details on a few of the winners:

Coca-Cola Refreshments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company that bottles, markets and distributes beverages, was honored in the On-Site Generation section of the awards. The company recently entered into an exclusive agreement to purchase all of the energy generated from a 6.5 MW combined heat-and-power system in Atlanta, Ga. Commercial operation of the system began in April 2012, and it is the fifth-largest system of its kind in the US. Fueled by landfill gas, the system supplies electricity, steam, and chilled water to Coca-Cola’s Atlanta Beverage Plant and is located adjacent to the plant.

Microsoft was named in the Green Power Partner of the Year category in recognition of its purchase of more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually – a statistic that makes it the third largest user of green power in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership rankings behind Intel and Kohl’s Department Stores. The tech company’s continued use of green power coupled with an investment in energy efficiency measures and carbon reduction projects resulted in it meeting a goal of reducing its normalized CO2 footprint by 30 percent by 2012, over 2007 levels.

Aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin was also named as a Green Power Partner of the Year for its 2011 combined on-site and purchased green power use of more than 546 million kWh. This power came from from biogas, low-impact hydropower, solar, and wind resources, the EPA says. The figure represents an increase of more than 250 million kWh from the previous year.

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