Companies in the U.S. Northwest Buy into Green Energy

Three companies in the Puget Sound area will purchase all of their electricity from renewable energy.

PORTLAND, Oregon, US, 2001-04-05 <> The companies are the first in the region and among the first in the United States to commit to 100 percent from new renewable energy facilities. Xantrex Technology, Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters of Olympia, and Global Energy Concepts of Kirkland have all purchased Green Tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. “It takes leadership and courage to be the first,” says BEF president Angus Duncan. “Making a commitment to new renewable energy is an important signal.” “By their actions, these companies are demonstrating that sustainable business practices are good for their communities, their customers and their business,” he adds. He praised the foresight of the group and encouraged others to follow suit. Green Tags are the environmental attributes of new renewable energy which are sold separated from the actual energy output, representing the environmental benefit that occurs when new renewable energy replaces traditional forms of power generation. By purchasing Green Tags, buyers providing critical added financing that brings new wind and solar generating facilities into the region’s power supply. “We recognize renewable resources are a viable solution to our country’s energy problems,” says Kevin Hagen of Xantrex. “Our purchase of Green Tags is one action we can take today that demonstrates our commitment to a healthier environment, helps fund construction of additional renewable generating sources, and reduces dependence on fossil fuels.” One of its subsidiaries, Trace Engineering, produces inverters for renewable power systems, and will partner with the Snohomish County Public Utilities to secure Green Tags for the company’s 90,000 square foot plant in Arlington, with 350 employees. Last year, the facility consumed 1 million kWh of electricity. “Restructuring of electricity markets, reliability issues, and concern for the environment are creating new market opportunities for merchant green power that’s absorbed into the grid as well as for independent off grid applications,” explains general manager Ron Pitt. “The BEF approach mirrors our own interest in increasing the use of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources while demonstrating the Xantrex commitment to a healthier environment and sustainable business practices.” “This commitment to new renewable energy means more renewables in the energy mix of the region,” says Paul Horton of Climate Solutions.”As a result of these three companies buying Green Tags, 899 fewer tons of CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere annually. This is the equivalent of the emissions of 180 cars or the amount of CO2 that would be offset by planting 373 acres of trees each year.” “We purchase our coffee from sustainable sources that are healthy to the environment, so the decision to buy renewable energy is a natural extension of our business philosophy,” explains Scott Merle of Batdorf & Bronson, which acquired the Tags for their offices in Olympia and Atlanta, Georgina. “Snohomish County PUD has been an early supporter of green energy and the largest buyer of renewable energy among the public utilities in the Pacific Northwest,” says commissioner Kathleen Vaughn.”The key to stable electric rates is investment in renewable energy.” BEF was formed in 1998 to sell environmentally endorsed green power to utilities and companies. The Foundation uses the net revenues from these sales to fund new renewable energy resources and watershed restoration projects in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. The Green Tags purchased from BEF will come from new wind and solar power plants serving the Pacific Northwest.

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