Posted: October 30, 2008 9:05:39 AM PDT
The City of Bellingham announced today that the Bellingham community has received a 2008 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and was one of only five organizations nationwide to be chosen as a Green Power Partner of the Year.
This is the second time Bellingham has been honored with this prestigious national award. It recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market. The Bellingham community is currently purchasing 81 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually from Puget Sound Energy, which is enough green power to meet 11 percent of the community's purchased electricity use.
According to the EPA, Bellingham's green power purchase is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 11,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 8,000 average American homes annually.
"We are proud of our community's continued leadership role in promoting green power, and proud to receive this prestigious award recognizing it,"said Mayor Dan Pike. "Purchasing green power helps our community become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing risks to our environment."
The annual awards recognize the country's leading green power purchasers for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation's voluntary green power market. EPA presented the Bellingham community with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2008 National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference in Denver, Colorado.
National awards honor leading green power purchasers
Bellingham currently ranks No. 1 on EPA's list of Green Power Communities. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through October 8, 2008. EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/ .
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while offering a superior environmental profile compared to traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.
Electricity generated from renewable sources is becoming increasingly available nationwide. By choosing green power instead of conventional electricity, consumers, businesses, and organizations can support increased deployment of renewable energy technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation and increase energy independence.
In recognition for the community's purchase of green power, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) funded a 2kw solar project on the roof of the Environmental Learning Center (ELC) which was installed in late July 2007. Another PSE-funded 2kw solar project, initiated in Fall 2007, is underway for the south facing parking shed at Depot Market Square. Project completion is slated for December 2008.
The Green Power Leadership Awards are competitive awards that recognize outstanding commitments and achievements in the green power marketplace in the following three categories:
Purchasers - Awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Suppliers - Awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE)
Market Development - Awarded by the Center of Resource Solutions (CRS)
For more information contact the City's environmental resources office at 778-7900.
Clare Fogelsong, Environmental Resources Manager