EPA Honors 2021 Green Power Leaders
Contact Information: EPA Press Office (email@example.com)
WASHINGTON (Sept. 28, 2021) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Green Power Leadership Award Winners for 2021, honoring five Green Power Partners across the United States: Boston University; Dane County, Wisconsin; Microsoft; Starbucks Company-Owned Stores; and the University of California. These innovative organizations are helping to spur rapid growth of the green power market and accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.
“The winners announced today are playing a leading role in the transition to a clean energy future,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “To tackle the climate crisis, we have to work together across the public and private sectors to expand the use and availability of carbon pollution-free electricity, improve air quality, and protect the environment.”
EPA's Green Power Leadership Award winners have implemented best market practices and made exceptional contributions to the growth of the green power market in the United States. Green power is electricity generated from renewable energy resources that offer the greatest environmental benefit compared to conventional power generation. Green power sources include solar, wind, low-impact hydropower, and some forms of biomass. This year’s five recipients are using approximately 8.4 billion kilowatt-hours of green power, enough to power more than 792,000 average American homes for a year.
The EPA Green Power Leadership Award winners for 2021 are:
In late 2020, Boston University signed the largest single active virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) by any of the 126 colleges and universities in EPA’s Green Power Partnership. This VPPA is designed to provide the school with 205 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, equivalent to more than 19,000 homes’ electricity use for one year. This VPPA also means Boston University uses 100% green power for its campus.
Dane County, Wisconsin
Dane County currently uses green power for 45% of its electricity use, using more than 20 million kWh of green power annually. The county sources green power through various supply options, including an innovative 9 megawatt (MW) solar energy project between Dane County and the local utility at the Dane County Airport. The county also funds the MadiSUN Backyard Solar Grant program, which targets diverse low-income residents and neighborhoods. As part of this effort, Dane County partners with various community organizations and housing providers to include solar installations at affordable housing projects to help ensure that the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy are available to all residents.
Since 2014, Microsoft has used 100% renewable green power in the United States. That means that annually, Microsoft uses more than 6 billion kWh of green power in the United States, equivalent to nearly 628,000 homes’ annual electricity use. Microsoft ensures that its corporate investments in renewable energy drive benefits to overburdened communities. Through a 500-megawatt power purchase agreement, Microsoft tied renewable energy purchasing to environmental justice and equity in under-resourced communities. This agreement will also offer at least $50 million, pulled from power purchase agreement revenue, in community-led grants and investments for education, career training, land restoration, and clean energy and efficiency programs.
Starbucks Company-Owned Stores
Starbucks began purchasing renewable electricity in 2005 and has been purchasing 100% renewable energy for company-operated cafes in the United States and Canada ever since. Its annual green power use of more than 1 billion kWh is equivalent to the annual electricity load of more than 98,000 homes. All of Starbucks roasting and distribution facilities in the United States use 100% renewable electricity. In addition, Starbucks has helped expand access to green power to the communities in which its stores operate, recently investing $97 million into communities in New York State to build community solar projects.
University of California
Since its last award in 2018, the University of California has increased its green power use by more than 300 million kWh, tripling its percentage of green power use from 15 to 46%. This increase was due in part to the addition of 18 on-site systems producing more than 12 million kWh in 2020. This rapid expansion of green power was also achieved because the University of California thoughtfully connected individual campuses with local electricity suppliers through its Clean Energy Optimization Pilot.
EPA established the Green Power Partnership (GPP) in 2001 to protect human health and the environment by increasing organizations’ voluntary green power use and investment to advance the American market for green power and development of those resources. The GPP provides a framework that includes credible usage benchmarks, market information, technical assistance, and public recognition to companies and other organizations that use green power. In 2020, the GPP had more than 700 Partners voluntarily using nearly 70 billion 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. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.
The Green Power Leadership Awards are announced at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. EPA is the Organizing Sponsor of the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For a full list of EPA 2021 Green Power Leadership Award winners, please visit https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-leadership-awards