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Large Purchasers of Green Power

City of Beaverton (OR)

February 2012 - The City of Beaverton, Oregon, announced that its Solar Beaverton program has facilitated 258 solar installations over the past two years, exceeding the city's expectations. Following a successful 2010 pilot program, Beaverton developed Solar Beaverton in March 2011 through a partnership with Livelight Energy. The program simplifies the process of installing solar panels, allowing residents to utilize state and federal financial incentives, while expediting the solar permitting processes.

News Release - City's Solar Beaverton Program Exceeds Expectations

Additional Information - Solar Beaverton

Contact: Cindy Tatham, 503-526-2545

March 2011 - The City of Beaverton, Oregon, has launched Solar Beaverton, a program to help residents install solar on their homes. The City selected solar installer LiveLight Energy to provide fixed-rate contracts on solar installations around the city. Residents will pay $5.75 per watt for systems smaller than 3 kilowatts (kW) and $5.50 for larger systems. The price does not build in incentives, so residents can still qualify for the Energy Trust of Oregon incentive, and available state and Federal tax credits. LiveLight Energy has an exclusive partnership with manufacturer SolarWorld, which is headquartered in nearby Hillsboro, Oregon.

During the 2010 pilot program, 50 households installed solar electric systems. The City has expanded this year's program to include solar hot water, solar attic fans, charging stations, and home energy assessments in hopes of installing 220 systems.

News Release - City flips the switch on Solar Beaverton program

Additional Information - The Time for Solar is Now!

Contact: Cindy Tatham, 503-526-2545

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

June 2008 - Over the past two years, utilities and their marketing partners have increased the use of "green power challenges" to increase participation and awareness for their green pricing programs. The utility typically develops the challenge in partnership with local governments, who make their own purchase in conjunction with the challenge, and environmental nonprofit organizations, who can help communicate the challenge. Utility and local government decision-makers typically agree on a goal for a fixed number of sign-ups within a specified time, usually about six months.

In 2007, at least fourteen utilities offered challenges, mostly in small- to mid-sized communities, and several more have done so in 2008. Many of these utilities have done challenges in more than one of the communities within their service territories. For example, Pacific Power and its sister company, Rocky Mountain Power, have launched 11 challenges in their combined Washington, Oregon, and Utah communities. Some programs, like Xcel Energy's Windsource, have conducted a second challenge in a subsequent year in the same community, as a result of their success with the first.

Several green power challenges have exceeded their stated goals. For example, in 2007, Puget Sound Energy launched a Bellingham, Washington challenge that produced 2,000 new customers, pushing the community's participation rate to 11%. In Beaverton, Oregon, Portland General Electric's 2007 challenge set a goal of 250 enrollments and reached twice that number. Generally, challenges have been particularly successful in small towns because of the greater ease in communicating the challenge to utility customers, the greater likelihood that the mayor will prioritize the challenge, and the sense of sense of community pride the challenge can engender.

The U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership recognizes Green Power Communities that achieve collective green power purchases of 2%, 3%, or 6% of the community's purchased electricity needs, depending on the size of the community. Recently, the agency recognized 16 communities, including those of Bellingham and Beaverton, as well as Santa Clara (CA), Bend (OR), and Palo Alto (CA).

June 2007 - The mayor of Beaverton, Ore., announced that the city will purchase about 7.6 million kWh of renewable energy from Portland General Electric (PGE) this year to power all of its facilities, including City Hall, the Beaverton City Library, the public works building, pumping stations and other water facilities. The announcement came as the mayor issued a "Green Power Challenge" for more citizens to purchase renewable energy. The goal of the three-month, community-wide campaign is to achieve 250 new enrollments in PGE's renewable energy programs.

News Release - Beaverton City Council Issues Green Power Challenge to Residents (PDF 34 KB)

News Article - City Plugs into 'Green' Power with Citizen Challenge


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