Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the highest-ranking state government user of green power on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Top 100 list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership.
The state ranks 26th overall among all users of green power. Click Here for a summary of Pennsylvania’s green power use.
Other Pennsylvania green power users making the list include: BNY Mellon Bank (27), University Of Pennsylvania (32), Carnegie Mellon University (46), and Drexel University (58).
Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro.
Using green power helps build demand for the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.
“To be recognized by the EPA for our commitment to using green power shows how dedicated we are to creating a “Government that works” for its citizens through finding ways to improve the economy, while at the same promoting environmental sustainability,” Gov. Wolf said. “In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, we were able to increase our bottom line by saving $2 million through the competitive bidding of the commonwealth’s electricity.”
In December of 2015 and February 2016, the Commonwealth competitively bid and awarded the supply of 243,985 megawatt hours (MWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to be provided annually for calendar years 2016 and 2017.
The quantities of RECs represent roughly 30 percent of the annual electricity usage for Commonwealth’s owned building inventory.
The funds dedicated to this purchase were made possible by more than $2 million in annual cost reductions achieved for calendar years 2016 to 2019 through the Department of General Services’ efforts to competitively procure electricity for commonwealth agencies in several bid events conducted during the fall of 2015.
“We have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania to ensure that we are being proper stewards of state funds,” Gov. Wolf noted. “We also have a responsibility to our children and future generations to properly use and preserve our planet’s resources. By committing to – and using – green power, we are able to accomplish both of those responsibilities.”
The nearly 244 million kilowatt-hours of RECs is the equivalent to the annual power usage of 22,000 average American homes.
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,400 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually.
Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities.For additional information, visit EPA’s Green Power Partnership webpage.