Solar

Leaders in Renewable Energy Market Honored

What is a conference for if not to recognize the outstanding efforts from the past year? The Green Power Leadership Awards, which are sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), have their home at the National Green Power Marketing Conference.

An awards ceremony at the conference honored 19 organizations for their efforts as green power purchasers or suppliers. Whole Foods Market was given a Green Power Leadership Award because the supermarket chain purchases or generates more than 20 percent of its annual national power load from green power sources. In some states, such as California, Colorado, and New Mexico, Whole Foods Market is 100 percent green-powered. Stores in California and New Jersey can boast about their own solar photovoltaic arrays for electricity generation. The company purchases power or generates green energy from wind, solar, geothermal and micro-hydro sources. “I think this honor is a great opportunity to show our shoppers and team members that we ‘walk our talk’ with dedication to our green mission to be a leader in environmental stewardship,” said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific regional president and Green Mission task force leader. California State University at Hayward caught the attention of the awards committee and won a power leadership award with the school’s rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays that generated approximately 1.45 kWh of electricity in a year. It was enough energy to meet 7.5 percent of the university’s annual electricity needs. The project earned a $3.4 million rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Company earlier this year. The rooftop systems are spread across four campus buildings. During peak periods such as summer months the system provides 30 percent of the university’s energy needs, saving about $200,000 a year in energy costs. Richard Metz, who is the vice president of Administration and Business Affairs at the university, said, “Solar energy will enable us to generate our own power, especially during the summer months when electricity prices are the highest and the grid is most constrained. The system will give the university a hedge against the fluctuating costs of energy and related supplies and will lower annual maintenance costs and increase the life of the buildings.” The other Green Power Partner of the Year Awards were presented to Montgomery County, Maryland; Staples, Silk, Clif Bar, and the U.S. General Services Administration. Additional purchaser awards winners include the following: Salt Lake City, Johnson & Johnson, NY Municipal Wind Buyers Group, College of the Atlantic, Interface, Alterra Coffee Roasters, Lundberg Family Farms, Edwards Air Force Base, Harbec Plastics, Mauna Lani Resort, Rodney Strong Vineyards, and the City and County of San Francisco, Moscone Convention Center. Green Power Program of the Year award went to Austin Energy. Additional supplier award winners include Lenox Municipal Utilities, PaloAltoGreen, Calpine, The Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania, and PPM Energy. This was the first year for awards in the supplier category. The Center for Resource Solution (CRS) also presented the Green Power Market Development Awards to recognize outstanding leadership in building and shaping the market for renewable energy. Awards went to the Western Washington Green Power Campaign, World Resources Institute, and Rob Harmon of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Honorable Mention will be given to the Maine Green Power Connection, and Alan Apt and Jim Welch of Ft. Collins, CO. “The exceptional efforts of renewable energy marketers, purchasers and organizations continue to develop the market for renewable energy, and produce results worthy of national recognition,” said Jan Hamrin, who is the executive director of CRS. “Their contributions through innovative marketing and outreach lead to the green power transactions that stimulate renewable energy generation, grow the economy, and help clean our air.”