EPA Buys 100 Percent Green Power, Challenges Colleges to Follow

September 13, 2006

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in late August that it is now buying renewable energy, or "green power," equivalent to 100 percent of its annual electricity needs. As of September 1st, the EPA is buying nearly 300 million kilowatt-hours of green power, which makes it the first federal agency to meet all of its electricity needs with renewable energy. The EPA's latest purchase of 100 million kilowatt-hours in renewable energy certificates was brokered by 3 Phases Energy Services and will support wind facilities in California, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The EPA also runs the Green Power Partnership, which provides assistance and recognition to organizations that choose to buy green power. See the EPA press release.

The EPA has set new rules for its Green Power Partnership, requiring members to buy 100 percent "new renewables" in meeting their minimum purchase requirements. New renewable facilities are defined as those placed in service in 1997 or later, which is when the green power market took hold in the United States. The Green Power Partnership has also launched the College and University Green Power Challenge, which pits the collegiate athletic conferences against one another in a competition to buy the most green power. As of July, the Ivy League is far ahead of its challengers, with the University of Pennsylvania leading the charge. See the new requirements (PDF 114 KB) and the collegiate challenge Web page. Download Adobe Reader.