Port of Portland commits to renewable energy and meets regional Clean Energy Challenge
PORTLAND, OR — April 19, 2001 — Pacific Power and Portland General Electric (PGE) announced today that the Port of Portland will purchase 525,000-kilowatt hours (kwh) of renewable power each month through the utilities' renewable energy programs, Pacific Power's Blue Sky and PGE's Clean Wind and Salmon Friendly*. The purchase, which represents the equivalent of one percent of the Port's electricity usage, meets the Clean Energy Challenge, standards set by a coalition of regional environmental groups for making green power purchases that represent a "meaningful commitment" to renewable energy.
"Operating an air and sea port in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way is a challenge and an opportunity," said Cheryl Koshuta, corporate environmental manager for Port of Portland. "In addition to supporting the development of new renewable energy resources, we also strive to conserve energy as part of our environmental commitment."
Renewable energy is generated from clean resources that have a much lower impact on the environment than traditional energy production because they have low to no emissions and the supply is unlimited. Renewable resources include wind, solar and geothermal power. All Portland area utility customers have access to a renewable energy program—Pacific Power offers Blue Sky, and PGE offers both Clean Wind and Salmon-Friendly* options. These programs give residential and business customers the option to participate in the development of new renewable resources through the purchase of 100 kwh "blocks" of wind power.
Purchasing renewable energy is just one way that the Port reflects its commitment to responsible energy usage—it also has a long-standing record of energy conservation. Significant conservation accomplishments include incorporating automated lighting and heating conservation systems into the new headquarters building, upgrading the heating and cooling systems at Portland International Airport (PDX) to reduce energy consumption by half, incorporating natural day-light design into new construction at PDX, and upgrading to more efficient lighting at Marine Terminal 2 for a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency.
The Port is a significant new member of a growing pool of business and residential customers that are driving demand for new wind power in the West. Sales of renewable energy "blocks" in Portland have grown steadily since Pacific Power and PGE introduced this option to their customers about one year ago. Rachel Shimshak, director of the nonprofit Renewable Northwest Project, believes increased sales reflect a greater understanding of sustainability practices by area businesses and consumers.
"More businesses are becoming conscious of the environmental impacts of their energy use and are choosing to purchase renewable energy to offset those impacts and reach their sustainability goals," Shimshak said. "We commend the Port of Portland, not only for purchasing renewable wind energy, but also for making a significant commitment and meeting the Clean Energy Challenge." The Renewable Northwest Project is a Portland-based sponsor of the Clean Energy Challenge.
*Salmon-Friendly Power is a certification mark of the Pacific Salmon Watershed Fund.
PacifiCorp serves 1.5 million customers with electricity and related services in the West. Blue Sky is available to Pacific Power and Utah Power customers in Oregon, Washington, Utah and Wyoming. For more information, or to enroll call 1-800-842-8458 or email email@example.com. PacifiCorp currently generates renewable energy at the Wyoming Wind development and at its Blundell Geothermal plant in Utah.
Portland General Electric is a wholly owned subsidiary of Enron Corp. PGE serves more than 720,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in northwest Oregon. For more information or to enroll in PGE's renewable power options, customers can visit www.portlandgeneral.com or call 1-800-542-8818.
The Port of Portland's sustainability policy states, "The Port will consider the life cycle of materials; seek energy efficiency and water conservation; reduce use of hazardous materials; procure reusable, recycled and recyclable products."
About Blue Sky
Pacific Power's Blue Sky is a voluntary, customer-supported program that develops the clean, renewable power of wind to generate electricity. For $2.95 per month, residential, business and industrial customers can buy a 100-kilowatt hour (kwh) "block" of wind power, which is enough to run an average household's television for over two months. Buying just one block of Blue Sky for a year offers the same environmental benefits as planting a third of an acre of trees or not driving a car 1,800 miles. Nearly 4000 customers are currently purchasing more than 6000 Blue Sky blocks each month.
Blue Sky blocks pay for the development of new wind power plants and the energy the power plants generate, and help educate consumers so more will choose to support cleaner power. The program recently added three megawatts of new wind power to the Western states' electricity grid and was named by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as a top ten green utility program by participation.
About Salmon Friendly and Clean Wind
PGE's two renewable power options, Salmon Friendly* and Clean Wind offer customers the opportunity of environmental stewardship and supporting additional renewable resources in the Northwest. To date, more than 4,300 residential customers and 185 local businesses have enrolled.
PGE customers can purchase 100 kwh blocks of Salmon Friendly and Clean Wind Power for $5 per block each month. PGE plans to spend Clean Wind receipts on construction of additional wind turbines and to cover program administration costs. Salmon Friendly Power income will be split between salmon habitat restoration in the region and the wind program.
The Vansycle Ridge Wind Farm in northeastern Oregon is the electricity source for both programs. There, 38 turbines on a windy ridgeline transform wind currents into electricity with minimal environmental impact. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, PGE's Renewable Power program is the most successful green power program by participation in the Pacific Northwest.
BEF Contact: Jennifer Gilstrap Hearn (503) 223-3299
PGE Contact: Mark Fryburg (503) 464-8444