U.S. EPA announces 2020 Green Power Leadership Award Winners in California
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the nationwide winners of the 20th annual Green Power Leadership Awards, including California organizations Equinix, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, Lundberg Family Farms and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. Across the country, the Agency recognized an additional eight Green Power winners.
“The 2020 Green Power Leadership Award winners are leaders in spurring innovation and promoting growth in the U.S. renewable energy market,” said Anne L. Austin, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. “We commend their efforts, which help protect our environment and improve our air quality.”
“Green power is both an accessible and affordable investment that leads to smaller environmental footprints,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “We are happy to recognize these organizations in California for their efforts in helping to expand the American renewable energy market.”
These winners contribute to the growth of the green power market in the United States and demonstrate leadership by implementing best market practices. Green power is electricity generated from renewable energy resources that offer the greatest environmental benefit, such as solar, wind, low-impact hydropower, and some forms of biomass. This year’s 12 recipients are using approximately 11.7 billion kWh of green power, enough to power nearly 1.1 million average American homes for a year. The four California winners, broken down by award category, are:
Green Power Partner of the Year
- Equinix, Inc. (Redwood City, CA) has rapidly expanded its green power use to more than 2.3 billion kWh, which represents 100 percent of its electricity load in the U.S. Through a portfolio of virtual power purchase agreements utility green tariffs, community choice aggregation programs, and third-party certified renewable energy certificates (RECs), Equinix has transformed its electricity supply and decoupled its GHG footprint from its power consumption growth. Equinix also demonstrated leadership by actively and transparently communicating its green power priorities and use through corporate sustainability reports and social media, sharing its successes through leading industry groups, and actively working with utilities to improve open access to green power markets.
Direct Project Engagement
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, CA) entered a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Gold Tree Solar Farm that provides an estimated 25 percent of the school's total annual electricity needs through on-site solar generation. The project reduced both upfront capital and long-term power costs, generating $17 million in savings over the 20-year life of the PPA. The procurement is the single largest PPA deal within the California State University system and brings solar into the college curriculum.
- Lundberg Family Farms (Richvale, CA) installed a 1.15-megawatt solar array on top of three of its facilities in 2019, expanding its total on-site green power generation by 150 percent. Lundberg also worked with its solar project developer to donate a percentage of the project costs to a local civic league promoting community welfare.
Excellence in Green Power Use
- Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (Los Angeles, CA) accesses green power through a diverse portfolio, including a physical PPA, an innovative taxable real estate investment trust subsidiary structure, a REC purchase, a subscription to a shared renewables program in Florida, and 17 rooftop and carport solar projects at its shopping centers. Together, these purchases amounted to an estimated nearly 147 million kWh of green power in 2020.
EPA established the Green Power Partnership in 2001 to protect human health and the environment by increasing organizations' voluntary green power use to advance the American market for green power and development of those resources. The Partnership provides a framework that includes credible usage benchmarks, market information, technical assistance, and public recognition to companies and other organizations that use green power. As of December 31, 2019, more than 1,400 EPA Green Power Partners are collectively using more than 61 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 5.6 million average American homes.
The Green Power Leadership Awards are announced at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference, which EPA is a co-organizing sponsor. For a full list of EPA 2020 Green Power Leadership Award winners, please visit https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-leadership-awards.