EPA Honors Green Power Partners, Including Philadelphia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented its 12th annual Green Power Leadership Awards to 24 Green Power Partners and three suppliers for their achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable electricity market.
In Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia was recognized in the Green Power Purchasing category.
The fifth-most populous city in the U.S., Philadelphia is uniquely poised to lead by example with its green power use. In the spring of 2009, Mayor Michael Nutter released Greenworks Philadelphia, an ambitious plan to transform the city into the greenest city in America. The Greenworks plan pledges that 20 percent of the electricity used in Philadelphia will come from alternative energy sources, and the city government is setting an example by purchasing enough renewable energy to meet this goal internally.
The City of Philadelphia is purchasing 127 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates sourced from wind annually, along with generating 300,000 kWh from on-site solar panels. Philadelphia’s first City-owned solar array came online in mid-2011, a 250 kilowatt project at the Southeast Water Pollution Control facility. In addition, in March 2012 at the same facility, the Philadelphia Water Department installed a geothermal unit, which uses sewage as a sustainable heat source for the plant and is the first installation of its kind in the nation.
Additionally, Philadelphia recently successfully embarked on a community-wide campaign to become an EPA Green Power Community in June 2012. Local dignitaries, including Mayor Nutter, announced the city’s GPC designation and subsequent green power challenge at a press event hosted by Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies, one of several Philadelphia-area Green Power Partners.
Looking ahead, the City plans to actively support a greater level of local renewable energy generation by purchasing RECs from local projects. In doing so, Philadelphia will not only support the green power market, but will be investing in local job creation, reduced grid congestion, increased fuel source diversity, and reductions in Scope 2 carbon emissions.
For most municipalities, electricity usage is the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. By using green power, communities and businesses can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create local jobs, and improve public health.
“Our 2012 Green Power Leadership Award winners have not only demonstrated commendable civic leadership in their efforts to use renewable energy sources, they’ve also helped to reduce our carbon footprint and cut back on pollution – all while supporting America's growing renewable energy industry,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Thanks to their commitment -- and the commitment of all of our Green Power Partners -- our country is one step closer to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
“Green power” is electricity generated from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydro, and produces no net increase of greenhouse gas emissions. From purchasing 100-percent green power to installing large-scale solar panel arrays, the award winners help demonstrate that green power makes sense not only for Americans' health and environment but for business' bottom lines.
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