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Green Power Partnership

Green Power Leadership Awards

GPP 2020 Green Power Leadership Awards

EPA presented the awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) Exit during the Renewable Energy Markets Conference on September 22, 2020. The awards serve to recognize the leading actions of organizations, programs, and individuals that significantly advance the development of green power sources.

See below for more information about award categories, 2020 award winners, and the Renewable Energy Markets Conference.

EPA expects opening up the award application period for the 2021 awards in first quarter 2021.

Let me know if you have any questions about these changes.


EPA and CRS Administer Awards in the Following Categories
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Center for Resource Solutions
Green Power Partner of the Year Green Power Market Development
Excellence in Green Power Use International Green Power Market Development
Direct Project Engagement Leadership in Green Power Education
Sustained Excellence in Green Power Green Power Leader of the Year
Green Power Community of the Year  

EPA Partner Award Categories

  • Green Power Partner of the Year Award: Recognizes Partners that distinguish themselves through their green power use, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market. Winners represent a beacon for other organizations to follow, represent best in class in terms of market impact, and have a compelling story that is both unique and replicable to a wider set of market participants. This category is the highest organizational honor in EPA's Green Power Leadership Awards and the activities are commensurate with this level of recognition.
  • Excellence in Green Power Use Award: Recognizes Partners that distinguish themselves by using green power in amounts that exceed the minimum benchmark requirements, or where the partner can demonstrate a distinct market impact through innovation, communications and stakeholder engagement. Winners in this category perform better than what is minimally required and offer a compelling example to their sector peers.
  • Direct Project Engagement Award: Recognizes Partners that distinguish themselves through direct project engagement using a variety of financing structures to access green power. Eligible direct project engagements include on- and off-site self-generation, on- and off-site physical power purchase agreements (PPAs), on- and off-site financial power purchase agreements, shared renewable projects, and utility green tariffs. Direct project engagement activities will be evaluated based on their direct impact and contribution to the transformation of the market, such as development of new projects, long-term commitments with eligible projects, etc. An applicant’s contractual relationship to the project shall be for no fewer than five (5) years. Self-generation shall be considered a 20-year contract term.
  • Sustained Excellence in Green Power Award: Recognizes continual leadership in advancing green power development. This award category recognizes a combination of “sustained” green power use coupled with “excellence” in procurement size and diversity of supply. Successful applicants shall also demonstrate a similar level of sustained excellence in terms of communications and market engagement related to their use of green power. To qualify, applicants must have won at least three (3) previous Green Power Leadership Awards—including:
    • one “Direct Project Engagement” (previously known as On-site Generation) Award, and
    • one “Partner of the Year” Award.

    Applicants shall demonstrate excellence by using at least 100 percent green power for their organization-wide electricity use. Partners must also have maintained 100 percent green power use for at least three years prior to applying for this award. Organizations can only receive a Sustained Excellence award once every three years, over which time applicants must maintain continued sustained excellence activities.

  • Green Power Community of the Year Award: Recognizes EPA Green Power Communities that distinguish themselves through their green power usage, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy, and impact on the green power market. Winners coordinate successful community campaigns to buy green power in amounts that exceed the minimum GPC requirements. Both the success of the GPC campaign as well as the leadership of the local government will be evaluated under this category.

Center for Resource Solutions Award Categories

  • Green Power Market Development: Recognizes organizations and individuals building and growing the voluntary market for green power. This may include organizations using renewable energy, electricity suppliers and REC providers, policy advocates, leaders in project development, and others influential in driving green power. The award honors industry leaders that are innovators and champions of renewable energy and whose actions are supporting the accelerated development of green power markets.
  • International Green Power Market Development: Recognizes organizations and individuals who are building markets or demonstrating leadership in green power procurement outside North America. This may include organizations using renewable energy, project developers, policy advocates, certificate providers, electricity suppliers, or others influential in developing and growing green power markets.
  • Leadership in Green Power Education: Recognizes effective and unique programs and organizations focusing on green power education. This award honors work that spreads the word about the environmental benefits of green power, and efforts to boost public interest in renewable energy.
  • Green Power Leader of the Year: Recognizes outstanding leadership by an individual who is leveraging his or her influence, power, position, or purchasing power to increase the prevalence of renewable energy. Evaluation criteria include: efforts and achievements of an individual, contributions to building the green power market, and dedication to and vision for renewable energy.

What does winning an EPA Green Power Leadership Award mean to an organization?

An EPA Green Power Leadership Award offers significant opportunities for recipients:

  • Demonstrate your environmental leadership
    "Green power purchases are an effective and important way we can implement renewable energy sources as we work to reduce our carbon footprint. As an EPA Sustained Excellence Award winner, we have increased our purchases that are applied company-wide, achieving 100 percent green power in 2010, 2011 and 2012. We are pleased to have extended this commitment through 2015." - Ken Bonning, Senior Executive Vice President, Kohl's
  • Become part of a prestigious group
    "Pearson is proud to receive this prestigious award from the US EPA for a second time. Green power is an important tool in helping combat climate change and we are honored to stand alongside the many US schools and universities that also choose clean sources of electricity as part of their sustainability strategies." - Rich Glicini, SVP Corporate Social Responsibility, Pearson
  • Promote participation in the Green Power Partnership
    "We're thrilled to be part of the EPA's Green Power Partnership. It's an unprecedented opportunity for us to integrate this meaningful and long-lasting environmental initiative into our operations." - Brad Haeberle, Vice President and Sustainability Council Chair, Siemens Industry, Inc.'s Building Technologies Division
  • Be featured at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference
    Award winners will be recognized at the industry's paramount annual gathering attended by leading renewable energy and green power industry stakeholders.

Green Power Leadership Award Application Process

EPA presented the 2020 Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference, which was held virtually.

EPA's Green Power Leadership Awards recognize exceptional achievement and leading actions of organizations, programs, and individuals that significantly advance the development of green power sources.

Learn more about the winners from 2020, or winners from previous years.

HOW TO APPLY

Download and complete the application form below. The form can be completed electronically and submitted to GPLA@epa.gov. * Please note - Green Power Communities interested in applying for an award should use the Green Power Community Award Application listed in the next set of bullets.

Green Power Communities applying for the Green Power Community of the Year award should use the separate application and data use form below. Local governments should use the standard Green Power Leadership Award application, listed above, in order to be recognized for using green power independently from the broader community.

If you have supplemental materials that exceed a 20 MB file size, please contact Rebecca Taylor (taylor.rebecca@epa.gov) or send an email to GPLA@epa.gov

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION PERIOD IS CLOSED

EPA and CRS Administer Awards in the Following Categories
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Center for Resource Solutions
Green Power Partner of the Year Green Power Market Development
Excellence in Green Power Use International Green Power Market Development
Direct Project Engagement Leadership in Green Power Education
Sustained Excellence in Green Power Green Power Leader of the Year
Green Power Community of the Year  

Review detailed information about the awards categories.

Visit the 2019 Award Winners web page for information about last year's winners.

Please contact us if you would like information on eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria for the 2020 Green Power Leadership Awards.

Eligibility Requirements for the Partner Awards

  • Applicants are either currently or will become an EPA Green Power Partner by March 30, 2020.
  • Only U.S.-based operations and facilities are eligible.
  • Only eligible green power generated from U.S.-based renewable energy resources will be considered. Please review the Partnership Requirements for more information.
  • Only green power purchases made and activities conducted since the applicant's last award are eligible. If the Applicant has never won an award, the history of green power procurement is eligible for consideration.
  • Applicants must have completed a green power purchase or have an operational on-site green power generator by March 30, 2020. The green power purchase is considered complete when delivery is executed or commercial operation has commenced.
  • Previous winners and applicants are eligible, but will be judged based on their activities since the last award cycle.
  • Applicants will be evaluated on the green power use they have reported to the Green Power Partnership as of March 30, 2020. GPLA application process is not a replacement for reporting of official green power use data to EPA. Partners will be evaluated based on data reported through the annual reporting process.
  • Please note: Eligibility will be verified during the review process, and finalists will need to pass an EPA compliance screen in order to be selected.

Things to Remember

  • EPA considers eligible renewable energy sources to be solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydroelectric sources.
  • Partners must retain the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) for all purchases, particularly for on-site renewable energy systems.
  • To be considered for GPP, any renewable energy use must be "incremental" and above and beyond the "standard mix" provided by utilities (i.e., come from the voluntary market and not the compliance market).

Evaluation Criteria

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Green Power Use Information:
    • Total annual size of green power procurement (including qualifying on-site generation)
    • Scope of green power commitment (facility, organization-wide)
    • Green power use as a percent of annual baseload electricity use, given the Green Power Partnership's required minimum purchase level
    • Contract duration (i.e., term of commitment)
    • Impact on new supply
    • If previous award winner, change in level of procurement since last award
  • Innovation and creativity of green power procurement and impact on market
  • Organizational strategy for investing in green power (past, present, future)
  • Leadership in using green power within a region or business sector
  • Communications efforts to promote green power usage both internally and externally, including media outreach and use of Green Power Partner mark (past, present, and future), as well as plans to promote the EPA Green Power Leadership Award, should the applicant be selected

Selection Process

An EPA evaluation panel reviews and evaluates all applications submitted by the deadline. Applications must be accurate and complete. EPA reviews all applicants to ensure that they are in good standing with EPA. Finalists will need to pass an EPA compliance screen in order to be selected. EPA will notify award winners and applicants in late summer.

Awards Ceremony

Each fall, award winners are recognized at the Green Power Leadership Awards Ceremony held during the Renewable Energy Markets (REM) Conference. This year's REM Conference was held virtually from September 21-24, 2020. Visit the Renewable Energy Markets Conference website Exit for more information.

Questions?

To learn more about the awards and the conference, visit the Green Power Leadership Awards web page and the Renewable Energy Markets Conference website Exit.

Green Power Leadership Award Winners

Sustained Excellence in Green Power Use

Partner of the Year

Excellence in Green Power Use

Direct Project Engagement

Sustained Excellence in Green Power Use

Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corporation, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, is one of the world's largest technology companies.

Microsoft is receiving the 2020 Sustained Excellence in Green Power Use award for:

  • Its continued leadership in advancing green power development, scale of green power commitment, focus on innovation, and sustained commitment to direct project engagement.
  • Its use of 100 percent green power for the fifth consecutive year across its U.S. operations while its power demand continued to grow.
  • Its continued commitment to advanced sustainability, including increasing its internal carbon fee in 2020 to help achieve its goal to be carbon negative by 2030.

Microsoft has been a Green Power Partner since 2012 and has received numerous awards for its green power leadership. At time of the award, Microsoft ranked #2 on EPA's National Top 100 list and #2 on the Top 30 Tech and Telecom quarterly Partner rankings.

Partner of the Year

Equinix, Inc.

Equinix, Inc., is a U.S.-headquartered, global data center and interconnection real estate investment trust (REIT) that operates more than 210 data centers across 56 metros in 26 countries spanning five continents.

Equinix is receiving the 2020 Green Power Partner of the Year award for:

  • Using more than 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power each year, covering more than 90 percent of its electricity load worldwide. Equinix's green power procurement has expanded rapidly, adding more than 884 billion kWh between the end of 2017 and the end of 2019. Equinix has not only grown its business to include 78 unique data centers in the United States, but it has also increased its green power use commensurately.
  • Deriving nearly half of its 2019 green power growth from long-term contracts, which delivered new wind power to the grid in the middle of the United States. The balance of Equinix's green power also supported several other types of purchases, including Green-e wind renewable energy certificates (RECs) as well as community choice aggregation and utility green tariff programs in California and Colorado.
  • Demonstrating leadership in green power use by being one of the first data center companies to utilize financial power purchase agreements, helping to address the volatility of electricity costs while also retaining REC attributes.
  • Maintaining an active communication strategy and, since fiscal year 2015, publishing an annual sustainability report compliant with the Global Reporting Initiative. In 2019, Equinix developed customized green power reports that empower its customers to understand and attest to their green energy use and carbon footprint from collocating at Equinix as part of their own sustainability reporting efforts.
  • Extending its successes to others through active engagement and leadership across leading industry groups and in regulatory proceedings. Equinix is a founding board member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance as well as an educator at its events and recently participated in policy proceedings in Virginia on opening green power access to other customers.

Equinix has been a Green Power Partner since 2015 and was recognized for Excellence in Green Power in 2017 and 2018, as well as Direct Project Engagement in 2019. At time of the award, Equinix ranked #5 on EPA's National Top 100 list and #4 on the Top 30 Tech and Telecom quarterly Partner rankings.

Excellence in Green Power

ALDI

ALDI is one of the fastest-growing retailers, with more than 2,000 U.S. stores across 36 states serving more than 40 million customers each month.

ALDI is receiving an Excellence in Green Power Use award for:

  • Using nearly a billion kWh each year, meeting more than 100 percent of its domestic electricity needs through a combination of self-supply projects and nationally sourced RECs.
  • Installing on-site solar arrays on more than 100 stores and 10 distribution centers; the company's standard approach is to include solar on all new stores, wherever feasible.

ALDI joined the Green Power Partnership in 2019 and at time of the award ranked #3 on EPA's Top 30 Retail quarterly rankings.

General Motors LLC

General Motors LLC (G.M.) is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts and sells financial services.

G.M. is being recognized for Excellence in Green Power Use for:

  • Increasing its green power from 10 percent to 31 percent by adding more than 652 million kWh of green power in 2019 and taking a multifaceted approach to its green power procurement using a variety of supply options, including power purchase agreement, self-supply, and green tariff supply structures.
  • Demonstrating significant leadership in supporting increased green power access in various markets through green tariffs. G.M. helped negotiate a new green tariff program, MIGreenPower, which provided access to green power for a host of other Michigan-based companies, including Shiloh Industries, the Detroit Zoo, and the University of Michigan.
  • Engaging in informative communication efforts, including press releases, website posts, and social media, to showcase its renewable efforts and to raise awareness that what is good for business is good for the environment.

G.M. joined the Green Power Partnership in 2019 and at time of the award ranked #12 on EPA's National Top 100 List of the largest green power users.

Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818 as the first university west of the Mississippi River, Saint Louis University (SLU) is one of the nation's oldest Catholic universities. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, SLU serves nearly 13,000 students.

SLU is being recognized with an Excellence in Green Power Use award for:

  • Its student-led initiative to continue increasing the University's green power use and to fund green power purchases through the establishment of a student green energy tax. In one year, SLU grew its green power use from a purchase covering residence halls’ electricity use to matching 100 percent of institutional power consumption.
  • Its student-led demonstration of how green power aligns with the school’s mission and commitments to public health and social justice. Students showcased how conventional energy sources contribute to poor air quality and increased asthma rates, a prevalent issue in the St. Louis region that statistically impacts lower-income, minority residents to a greater extent.

SLU joined the Green Power Partnership in 2019. At time of the award, SLU was #13 on EPA's Top 30 College and University quarterly rankings and #82 on EPA's Green Power Partnership National Top 100 rankings.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) is a global developer and operator of flagship shopping destinations, with 30 shopping centers in the United States.

URW is being recognized with an Excellence in Green Power Use award for:

  • Using green power through a diverse portfolio, including power purchase agreements, REC purchases, and 17 self-generation rooftop and carport solar projects. Together, these purchases amount to nearly 147 million kWh of green power each year.
  • Utilizing its REIT status to purchase solar through an innovative taxable REIT subsidiary, which allowed the company to directly access the tax benefits that helped finance the project and that otherwise would have been out of the company's reach.
  • Using multiple communication channels to deploy messages on its green power successes to an array of audiences. URW leverages public announcements, earned media, strategic partnerships, and reporting platforms to communicate its green power work to corporate departments, shopping center staff, tenants, visiting guests, investors, and the communities surrounding its centers.

URW is a new Green Power Partner, joining in 2019.

Direct Project Engagement

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Located on the central coast of California, California Polytechnic State University–San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) is a public university with more than 21,000 undergraduate and 700 graduate students.

EPA is recognizing Cal Poly with a 2020 Direct Project Engagement award for:

  • Its 4.5-megawatt (MW) Gold Tree Solar Farm. In May 2018, Cal Poly entered into a long-term power purchase agreement that provides an estimated 25 percent of the school’s total electricity needs through on-site solar generation. This is the single largest solar deal within the California State University system.
  • Its inventive approach to building and interconnecting the Gold Tree project. The school engaged in a unique tariff for California local governments and universities that enabled it to build the project and connect it directly to the utility’s transmission and distribution system, reducing both upfront capital and long-term power costs in the process. The solar farm will generate $17 million in savings over the 20-year life of its financial power purchase agreements.
  • Its request for proposals, which included a focus on innovative academic uses for the eventual project. Now that the project is operational, Cal Poly can bring the solar farm into its classrooms by incorporating the project into curricular areas like microgrid research, engineering education, and research on sheep grazing around the array’s panels.

Cal Poly joined the Green Power Partnership this year.

Fifth Third Bank

As a large regional bank providing retail banking services in 10 states and commercial lending nationwide, Fifth Third Bank owns or leases more than 1,100 banking centers, 2,400 ATMs, and numerous commercial offices.

Fifth Third is receiving a 2020 Direct Project Engagement award for:

  • Transitioning from annual REC purchases to a long-term contract that led to the construction of the Aulander Holloman Solar Project, bringing its total annual green power usage to more than 149 million kWh.
  • Sharing its experiences and lessons learned from this and other projects at numerous conferences and with its communities and employees through press releases, videos, social media posts, and internal announcements—as well as its annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report, sustainability website, and investor relations website.

Fifth Third has been a Green Power Partner since 2010.

Lundberg Family Farms

Lundberg Family Farms is a family-owned and -operated farm founded in 1937 that is committed to growing and producing organic rice and rice products in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. Lundberg’s environmentally focused philosophy has made green power a natural fit for the company.

Lundberg Family Farms is receiving a 2020 Direct Project Engagement for:

  • Installing a 1.15 MW solar array on top of three facilities in 2019, increasing its total on-site generation from 10 percent to 25 percent of demand and its capacity to 1.9 MW.
  • Working with its project developer to donate a percentage of project costs to the Richvale Foundation, a civic league created to promote community welfare for charitable, educational, and recreational purposes.
  • Demonstrating a multifaceted approach to communicating its project successes through product labeling, publishing a sustainability report and press releases, participating in podcasts, including solar on its facility tours, and speaking at conferences and participating in industry groups to share its experiences.

Lundberg Family Farms has been a Green Power Partner since 2003 and was recognized previously in 2004 for Green Power Purchasing and 2008 for On-Site Generation.

Madison Area Technical College – Main Truax Building

Madison Area Technical College is a public technical and community college serving more than 30,000 students every year in south-central Wisconsin. The school's flagship Truax Building is a 1-million square foot facility that provides instructional space for more than 175 associate degrees and technical diploma programs, including a Renewable Energy Certificate program that prepares students for careers in solar photovoltaic technology.

Madison Area Technical College is receiving a 2020 Direct Project Engagement award for:

  • Completing construction of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system in the State of Wisconsin in 2019. Madison Area Technical College contributed more than 80 percent of the capital to develop the 1.85 MW solar project, which was also designed as an educational tool. The project also marked the completion of the first step in Madison College's solar roadmap to implement solar power projects at each of its campus locations.
  • Designing its rooftop photovoltaic system with education in mind. A data platform enables students to monitor solar irradiance and electricity generation, teaching them about data analytics and performance verification while allowing for early detection of component degradation and maintenance needs. The system includes an accessible roof section and viewing deck that provides opportunities for educational outreach to prospective students and the general public.
  • Demonstrating a broad reach in communicating its project success by creating promotional videos, providing media coverage and tours of the project, and authoring scholarly manuscripts and how-to guides to help others execute solar projects.

Madison Area Technical College is a new Partner, joining the Green Power Partnership in 2019.

QTS Realty Trust

QTS Realty Trust is a leading provider of data center solutions, with more than 6 million square feet of data centers throughout North America.

QTS Realty Trust is receiving a 2020 Direct Project Engagement award for:

  • Using an innovative procurement model featuring a partnership with an investment bank to purchase a portion of the power from a financed project. This project's structure supports QTS Realty Trust's renewable electricity objectives while funding new projects, reducing market risk, and improving renewable electricity costs for other buyers supported by this procurement strategy.
  • Increasing QTS Realty Trust’s renewable electricity procurement to more than 412 million kWh today over the course of three years.
  • Working with utilities and organizations to develop tariffs and policies that make it easier and more cost-effective for everyone to procure renewable electricity.
  • Communicating its successes through press releases and sustainability reports, as well as highlighting its status as a Green Power Partner online.

QTS Realty Trust joined the Green Power Partnership in 2018 and at time of the award ranked #12 on EPA's Top 30 Tech and Telecom quarterly partner rankings.

Target

Target is one of the largest retailers in the United States and a new Green Power Partner, joining in 2020.

Target is receiving a 2020 Direct Project Engagement award for:

  • Taking a multifaceted approach to developing both on-site and off-site projects, including nearly 260 MW of on-site solar and more than 140 MW of operating financial power purchase agreements. Together, these projects generate more than 400 million kWh to serve Target's operations.
  • Utilizing its network. As one of the largest retailers in the country, with locations in every state, Target has leveraged its hundreds of utility partnerships to help get green tariffs off the ground in several states, working directly with state legislators and regulators.
  • Working with market stakeholders to improve the quality and quantity of data on renewable electricity in the grid mix.

At time of the award, Target ranked #5 on EPA's Top 30 Retail quarterly rankings.

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Renewable Energy Markets Conference

About the Conference

Renewable Energy Markets Exit is the industry's paramount annual gathering attended by leading renewable energy and green power stakeholders, and is held in a different major city each year. Renewable Energy Markets 2020 was held virtually September 21-24, 2020. Visit the Renewable Energy Markets Conference website Exit for more information.

At the REM conference, attendees:

  • Network with the industry's key players, including power marketers, renewable energy developers, retail and wholesale green power suppliers, electric utilities, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, energy consultants, and nonprofit experts
  • Gain new insights about the major issues facing voluntary renewable energy and carbon markets
  • Learn about profitable strategies for industry growth and current renewable energy supply and demand trends
  • Attend the Green Power Leadership Awards Banquet, which is held in conjunction with the conference

About the Awards Ceremony

EPA co-sponsors the Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS). The awards recognize the leading actions of organizations, programs, and individuals that significantly advance the development of the voluntary green power market. This year’s Green Power Leadership Awards Ceremony will take place at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference.

To receive Partnership and awards updates, please contact us and indicate your interest in receiving updates from the Green Power Partnership.