July 2010 - The city of Santa Clara has secured the top spot in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Communities rankings with more than 163 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of the community's electricity usage coming from voluntary purchases of green power.
In 2009, businesses in Santa Clara purchased almost 38 million kWh of renewable energy certificates through Silicon Valley Power's Santa Clara Green Power program, which is jointly managed with 3Degrees. The program has a customer participation rate of eight percent, the sixth best customer participation rate in the country. The 4,000 residential participants in the Santa Clara program purchased the equivalent of over 25 million kWh of wind and solar. In addition, some Santa Clara businesses supported renewable energy by purchasing RECs from other vendors. Most notably, the nation's largest purchaser of renewable energy certificates (RECs) is Santa Clara based Intel, which purchased the equivalent of over 1.4 billion kWhs in 2009 for their national operations from a nation-wide supplier.
The other communities topping the EPA rankings include: Gresham, OR (126 million kWh and 12% participation), Corvallis, OR (100 million kWh, 15% participation), Bellingham, WA (92 million kWh, 13% participation), and Beaverton, OR (71 million kWh, 5% participation).
News Release - EPA Names Santa Clara The Top Green Power Community In The United States
News Article - Santa Clara top 'green' power community in U.S.
Additional Information - Green Power Communities
Contact: Carol McCarthy, 408-615-2213
February 2009 - The city of Corvallis, Oregon, is the nation’s leader among communities purchasing green power, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership program. Collectively, Corvallis residents, businesses, and government agencies purchase more than 100 million kWh of green power annually, or about 13 percent of the city’s total purchased electricity. Oregon State University is the largest single purchaser of green power in Corvallis, buying enough renewable energy to meet about 75 percent of its needs.
Oregon cities made up half of the EPA’s top 10 green power communities list, with leading purchases by Beaverton, Bend, Gresham and Salem.
News Release - 2009 Corvallis No. 1 on the EPA’s national list of Green Power Communities
News Article - Corvallis leads nation in green power use
May 2006 - The City of Corvallis (Ore.) has been designated a "Green Power Community" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership (GPP), becoming the third U.S. city to receive the special title. The EPA bestows the designation on cities that buy green power in amounts that collectively meet or exceed the program's minimum purchasing benchmarks, which vary by a community's annual electricity use.
Corvallis ranks first among Oregon cities with nearly 12.5% of electricity customers supporting renewable energy through Pacific Power's Blue Sky green pricing program. The city itself purchases 75,000 kilowatt-hours of Blue Sky wind energy each month.
News Release - Corvallis Named West Coast's First Green Power Community by Environmental Protection Agency
News Article - Corvallis Named 'Green Power Community'
December 2005 - The Corvallis (Oregon) City Council issued a city-wide challenge to residents and businesses to sign up for Pacific Power's Blue Sky renewable power program. Currently, about 9.5% of electricity customers in the city are enrolled in the program. The council's goal is to increase the percentage to 15%, or an additional 1,900 customers. The challenge runs through Earth Day 2006.
Under its Blue Sky Block program, residential customers can purchase renewable energy from wind farms in 100-kWh increments at a premium of $1.95, or 1.95¢/kWh. Oregon customers can also choose Blue Sky Usage (in which customers receive their equivalent energy usage from a mix of wind, biomass, and solar sources ) or Blue Sky Habitat (in which customers buy renewable energy, plus make a $2.50 monthly donation to The Nature Conservancy of Oregon to preserve native fish habitat). Pacific Power also offers a "quantity savings" program under which commercial customers can obtain a volume discount for green power purchases.
News Release - Corvallis City Council backs green energy challenge- seeks local household and business support
News Release - Corvallis challenges citizens to back renewable power
News Article - Council challenges Corvallis to adopt renewable power