Since June 1, 2004, both the Duluth and Grosse Ile facilities have been using “Green Power” electricity to meet most of our electrical needs. Green power is energy derived from renewable sources such as wind, solar or biomass and was obtained through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC's). One REC is equal to one kWh of electricity. For Duluth, 7,050,000 REC's have been purchased for $20,022 from QVINTA, Inc. for wind energy from Dodge Center, MN. For Grosse Ile, 2,100,000 REC's have been purchased for $6,300 from 3 Phases Energy Services for biomass energy from Lenox, MI. Both contracts will run from June 2004 - 2007.
Because our local electricity suppliers are unable to meet our green power needs, we were able to obtain the environmental benefits of green power through the purchase of REC's. Green power suppliers in other parts of the country feed power into the national “grid” and then sell their REC's. The price of the REC's is the price difference between conventional power and green power. For example, at Duluth, the wind farm in Dodge Center sells its power to the local grid at market rates for conventional power and sells its environmental attributes (REC's from the wind power production) to EPA for .003 cents per kWh. The environment is benefited by reduced emissions associated with electrical energy consumption, our facility is run by green power, and the green power market is strengthened by this purchase.
Duluth will continue to purchase small quantities (kWh) of wind energy directly from Minnesota Power to augment the REC's to meet our electricity needs. More information about green power and REC's is available at this web site: http://www.epa.gov/grnpower/