EPA Pushes to 220 Million kWh of Renewable Energy

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency is walking its green talk by buying renewable energy certificates for its Denver and Golden facilities, totaling nearly 7 million kWh per year over the next three years. Facilities in Kansas City, Kansas, and San Francisco, California, are also on the list for three years of renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases worth 10 million kWh annually.

The purchase, which was coordinated by EPA’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C., totals 4.7 million kWh per year for its Denver Regional office, and 2.1 million kWh per year for its Regional Laboratory in Golden, Colo. Wind energy developer Aquila of Colorado will provide the 6.8 million kWh of electricity from its Colorado Green wind site. The 6.8 million kWh that Region 8 will purchase annually is roughly equivalent to the annual output of one-and-a-half utility-scale wind turbines. That is enough electricity to offset burning up to 3,400 tons of coal, which would emit 7,820 tons of carbon dioxide in a year. Aquila’s Gray County Wind Project near Montezuma, Kan., will, obviously, supply the RECs for the Kansas sites. The EPA’s San Francisco Regional Office will receive green tags from geothermal energy provided by 3 Phases Energy Services, and generated at The Geysers No. 11 in Middletown, Calif. Region 8 in Colorado was one of the first federal facilities to join the Public Service, now Excel Energy, WindSource program. The EPA contracted with Public Service in October of 2000 to purchase 100 percent wind energy for the electricity used at the Regional Lab. “A guiding principle for EPA’s activities is the use of environmental management systems (EMS) which have a strong focus on energy conservation and use of renewable energy sources,” said EPA Region 8 Administrator Robbie Roberts. “The purchase of renewable energy for 100 percent of our electricity needs shows our commitment to our EMS and to environmental improvement. EPA advocates use of renewable energy and now we are walking the talk.” Today, the EPA purchases more than 220 million kWh of green power each year for 26 laboratories and offices across the nation. This energy provides nearly 80 percent of the agency’s annual electrical needs.
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