Two U.S. companies have formed an alliance to offer a nationwide purchase program for green energy.
SANTA CLARA, California, US, 2001-04-27 <SolarAccess.com> Automated Power Exchange Inc. and Sterling Planet Inc. claim the wholesale and retail market alliance will give consumers greater choice over the percentage of electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources. The service is available in all continental states plus the District of Columbia, and allows a consumer to select a complete or partial green upgrade. “APX has distinguished itself in the wholesale power market by offering exchanges tailored to the exclusive needs of renewable energy trading,” says president and CEO John Yurkanin. “Sterling Planet reinvigorates environmental consciousness for consumers in these times of energy shortages, especially in California, and APX is pleased to help support its business.” Sterling Planet pays a premium fee to renewable power generators through the wholesale APX Green Power Markets. Individual and corporate consumers can support wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable generation with minimal environmental impact, without changing their relationship with their local utility. “Sterling Planet is working with the power industry to give millions of Americans the ability to determine how power is generated in our nation,” adds Therrell Murphy, founder and CEO of Sterling Planet. “Our alliance with APX empowers people to make a difference in the quality of the air we all breathe. Environmental stewardship has never been easier.” A green ticket is purchased from renewable generators via the APX Green Power Markets. Each ticket represents the value of 1 MWh of certified renewable power generation, above the price of the commodity energy delivered into the transmission grid. The premium is directed to support increased production from existing facilities and the construction of new renewable plants. The average nationwide monthly cost of the green tickets for a household ranges from $10 to $15, which can be offset by conservation techniques. “Environmental Resources Trust Inc., under its EcoPower label, certifies renewable energy generating facilities nationwide, acting as a catalyst for the clean power market,” explains Alden Hathaway of ERT. “ERT looks forward to working with these companies to complete a certification and verification protocol for this marketplace, and in doing so, to pioneer a credible national market for renewable energy.” The service can reduce power shortages in states such as California by encouraging additional generation of power from renewable energy facilities, and by reducing exposure to the high cost of natural gas that is burned in most non-renewable plants. Utility ratepayers can support renewable power beyond the level currently provided, which is an option that has been absent as alternative suppliers have left the state during the past year. Approximately 220,000 homes in California had switched to service providers offering a higher component of renewable power. Consumers pay Sterling Planet a flat monthly fee and continue to pay their utility for regular electric service. They can increase, decrease or cancel their green power purchases at any time. APX operates Internet-based brokerages for the purchase and sale of electric power and renewable power, and provides scheduling technologies to support power system administration. Its Green Power markets allow renewable power to be traded first as commodity energy at normal market prices, and then as green tickets in increments of 1 MW. Nearly 1 TW of green tickets was traded last year through the privately held company. Sterling Planet is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and claims to be the first company to offer a 100 percent green energy choice to individuals and businesses across the U.S., including states with regulated electric markets.