The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Green Power Partnership has released an updated list of the Top 50 organizations that are choosing to use electricity from clean, renewable sources.
“We applaud the leadership demonstrated by organizations that are helping reduce carbon pollution and spur the growth of clean, American-made energy sources by increasing their use of renewable energy,” says EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “As President Obama has made clear, clean energy is critical to our health, our economy, our security, and our ability to effectively address climate change.”
Intel Corporation continues to top the list, using green power to cover 100% of its electricity load. Microsoft Corporation moved into second place by increasing its green power use to more than 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. Apple Inc., new to the Top 50 list, ranks number 10 with 85 percent of its nationwide electricity now coming from green power.
The top 10 partners appearing on the Top 50 list include:
1. Intel Corporation
2. Microsoft Corporation
3. Kohl’s Department Stores
4. Whole Foods Market
5. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
6. U.S. Department of Energy
8. Starbucks Company-Owned Stores
9. Lockheed Martin Corporation
10. Apple Inc.
For the first time, EPA also released a list of partners that have committed to purchasing green power for a period of five years or more. These organizations send a strong signal to renewable energy developers, stating that they are committed to green power for the long-term and are helping to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions. Among the partners with the longest-running contracts are the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, The Ohio State University, Iowa State University, and the University of Maryland. Of the 47 partners appearing on the list, 15 are higher education institutions.
In addition, for the seventh year in a row, the agency is encouraging increased green power use among higher education institutions through the College and University Green Power Challenge. Out of the 32 competing conferences, the Big 10 is this year’s conference champion, collectively using more than 315 million kWh of green power annually and avoiding carbon pollution equal to that produced by the electricity use of more than 33,000 American homes. The University of Pennsylvania continues to be the top individual school in the challenge, purchasing more than 200 million kWh of wind power annually--more green power than any of the 75 other competing schools.
Green power is a subset of renewable energy and represents the renewable energy resources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit. EPA defines green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.
As part of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, more than 1,400 organizations are purchasing more than 27 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, avoiding carbon pollution equal to that created by the electricity use of more than 2.8 million American homes. The partnership provides quarterly updated lists of partners using green power in the following categories: K-12 schools, technology and telecommunications, local government, and retail, among others.