Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EPA Names 2014 Green Power Leaders, 2 From Pennsylvania

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced its annual Green Power Leadership Awards, recognizing 19 Green Power Partners and four suppliers across the country for achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable energy market and reducing greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change.
The award winners include the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Insurance Companies.
City of Philadelphia
As America's fifth largest city, Philadelphia has a goal to become the greenest city in America through its Greenworks Philadelphia Plan, which has positioned the city to become a leader in green power production and consumption.
As part of the plan, the city has committed to purchase and generate 20 percent of the electricity used in Philadelphia from alternative energy sources.
In December 2013, the Philadelphia Water Department brought its largest green power project online at the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant. The 5.6 megawatt (MW) biogas combined heat and power facility runs on biogas produced at the WPCP and is projected to produce 44 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is equivalent to avoiding 32,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per year.
This contributes to Greenworks' target of reducing municipal and community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent by 2015.
In addition, PWD has installed two other green power projects, including a sewage geothermal installation and a solar photovoltaic system, both located at the Southeast WPCP. By generating on-site green power and avoiding GHG emissions, PWD is helping the city meet multiple Greenworks Philadelphia targets.
As an EPA Green Power Community, Philadelphia raises awareness and encourages city stakeholders to purchase green power through an education and outreach program. Philadelphia is also purchasing nearly seven million kWh of locally-sourced, Green-e certified wind renewable energy certificates (RECs).
Over time, the city plans to move towards actively supporting more local renewable energy generation by using budgeted dollars for voluntary REC purchases from local renewable energy projects.
Philadelphia values this approach because it invests in job creation, reduced grid congestion, increased fuel source diversity, and reductions in carbon emissions from Scope 2 (indirect) sources in the city and region.
Additionally, as part of the Greenworks Philadelphia plan, the city has published a Solar Photovoltaic Guidebook and a Guidebook for Solar Water Heating Projects in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
An EPA Green Power Partner since January 2014, Philadelphia Insurance Companies is a national commercial property/casualty and professional liability insurance carrier. PHLY considers protection of the global environment to be an important corporate responsibility, and supports individual- and community-based local environmental efforts, in addition to its own corporate sustainability initiatives.
PHLY is a member of the Tokio Marine Group, which achieved carbon neutrality in both its domestic and overseas business operations in fiscal 2013.
PHLY operates 49 leased offices in 31 states. Although varying lease terms and inconsistent methods for tracking energy use at these properties make it challenging for PHLY to measure its carbon footprint and set goals for reductions, the company remains committed to taking these actions.
In 2013, the company hired a firm to determine PHLY's electricity usage in its offices nationwide. After determining its overall energy use, PHLY achieved net zero emissions by purchasing more than four million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of third-party certified, wind-generated renewable energy certificates (RECs).  
PHLY's green power goals are part of the company's broader environmental strategic plan—the GREENPHLY Priority Action Plan, which has three focus areas: carbon footprint reduction; environmental education and awareness; and community outreach.
PHLY encourages its stakeholders to use green power, and serves as a knowledge resource for industry partners looking to explore their green power options. PHLY recently consulted with one of its largest environmental insurance brokers to advise the broker on how to launch its own grassroots sustainability program.
PHLY plans to organize similar consultations with other industry partners, and to promote the use of green power as a critical component of a robust environmental program. PHLY also works with its local and national environmental non-profit partners, such as the Clean Air Council of Philadelphia, to achieve shared sustainability goals.
“By using more than 7.6 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, these communities, businesses, and organizations are leading the way in cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the impacts of climate change, and protecting public health,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These partners demonstrate that green power is not only a smart business investment, but it’s affordable, accessible and it reduces emissions while growing the renewable energy market and spurring innovation.”
Green power is electricity that is generated from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydroelectric sources. Green power does not produce fossil fuel-based greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change.
The award winners are being recognized for their efforts in expanding the domestic renewable energy market. From using enough green power to meet more than 100 percent of electricity needs to installing solar arrays on-site or entering long-term power purchase agreements, these organizations are demonstrating that green power is both accessible and affordable.
The award-winning partners were chosen for their exemplary use of green power from more than 1,300 partner organizations that comprise EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Utilities, renewable energy project developers, and other green power suppliers are eligible to apply for the Green Power Supplier award.
EPA, through the Green Power Partnership, works with partner organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.
The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 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.
The 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards will be presented on December 3  at the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Sacramento, Calif.
For more information, visit EPA’s 2014 Green Power Leadership Award Winners webpage.

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