2016 Green Power Leadership Award Winners
We would like to congratulate the winners of the 2016 Green Power Leadership Awards (GPLAs). They received their awards at the ceremony taking place on Monday, October 17, 2016 at the Renewable Energy Markets conference in San Francisco, CA. You can read the release about the CRS Market Development Award Winners and the EPA Green Power Partner Awards. You can also view the presentation.
2016 CRS Market Development Award Winners
The four Market Development Awards recognize individuals, companies, and other renewable energy industry leaders that have helped build the market for green power:
- Green Power Market Development: Apex Clean Energy, Bloomberg LP, Robert Griffin, Department of the Navy REPO, MCE (Marin Clean Energy), and Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Program
- International Green Power Market Development: Apple Inc. and Google, Inc.
- Leadership in Green Power Education: John Schaeffer, Real Goods Solar Living Institute
- Green Power Leader of the Year: CA Governor Jerry Brown
EPA Green Power Partner Awards
EPA recognized leading green power purchasers and suppliers in five categories: Excellence in Green Power Use, Direct Project Engagement, Green Power Community of the Year, Green Power Partner of the Year, and Sustained Excellence in Green Power. This year’s EPA Green Power Partner Award Winners are:
- Excellence in Green Power Use: Biogen, Inc., BNY Mellon, Forest County Potawatomi Community, WI, Goldman Sachs, Government of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), Intel Corporation, and SC Johnson
- Direct Project Engagement: General Motors / GM Orion Assembly Plant, Google Inc., and HARBEC, Inc.
- Green Power Community of the Year: Maplewood Community, MO
- Green Power Partner of the Year: Cisco Systems, Jackson Family Wines, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York
- Sustained Excellence in Green Power: Apple Inc., Kohl’s Department Stores
2016 GPLA Winner Descriptions
CRS Market Development Awards: Green Power Market Development
Apex Clean Energy
Apex Clean Energy is working in a number of ways to grow the voluntary market for green power. First, Apex opened up the world of structured power purchase agreements (SPPAs) outside of the Fortune 500 by successfully signing an SPPA with Steelcase. Steelcase is a global leader in the office furniture industry, but compared to the usual offtakers for these utility-scale projects, it is an outlier as far as market cap. Apex’s willingness to be flexible and accommodating to meet its customers’ needs led to the successful execution of the SPPA with a new customer type. Part of this flexibility is demonstrated in the size of the contract—25 MW of a 147 MW project. Due to this SPPA, Steelcase will be contracting for clean, renewable wind energy equivalent to approximately 70% of its total U.S. electricity usage.
In addition, Apex developed language with Steelcase for the delivery of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates under the new “Green-e Direct” framework. By developing contractual terms around Green-e Direct in the SPPA, Apex is further expanding the voluntary REC market. Now Apex is participating in an effort led by ACORE to develop a standard form of SPPA contract. Because of Apex’s prior work with Steelcase, the Green-e Direct requirements are being proposed for incorporation into the standard form SPPA.
Apex has also developed a first-of-its-kind hybrid wind/solar deal for the Fort Hood Army base. It is the Army’s largest renewable energy project to date, with 50 MW of off-site wind power and 15 MW of on-site solar. By creatively developing a hybrid solution that would meet the requirements of the Defense Logistics Agency–Energy, Apex is proving that the market for voluntary green power can be expanded beyond the standard forms of contract and typical offtakers.
Bloomberg LP, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas.
Increasingly, the company is integrating ESG (environmental, social and governance) data alongside real-time financial information and analytics for Bloomberg Professional service customers. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) provides unique analysis, tools and data for decision makers driving change in the energy system.
Regarding its own company-wide environmental strategy, Bloomberg LP analyzes every aspect of its business and operations, with the aspiration of creating a fully sustainable Bloomberg. With energy consumption representing 56% percent of the company’s total CO2 emissions, Bloomberg LP maintains a high focus on minimizing its environmental impacts by finding energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities with a focus on the bottom line. Bloomberg has committed to sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
In 2015, Bloomberg LP began to incorporate off-site renewable projects, complementing its portfolio of on-site renewables. In September 2015, the company cut the ribbon at the 1.5 MW, Bloomberg-JFK Airport Park Solar Project. This project utilizes “remote net metering”, a program that enables sites with poor solar characteristics but significant energy consumption, such as a Manhattan skyscraper, to benefit from a solar system on an alternative site with excellent solar characteristics, like a Queens warehouse. It is not only the largest solar project in Queens, but also the largest remote net metered project in New York City and the first to provide energy to a midtown Manhattan skyscraper.
Additionally, in December 2015, Bloomberg announced the Arkwright Summit Wind Project, the company’s newest clean energy project expected to produce an estimated 61,000 Megawatt hours annually starting in late 2017. It will be the largest corporate renewable energy purchase on record in the history of New York State. It is located less than 30 miles from the closed BPU Jamestown Coal Plant. That coal-fired power plant is one of more than 239 that have been retired as part of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Robert Griffin, Department of the Navy REPO
Robert Griffin was instrumental in driving the development of new renewable energy facilities through his work at the Department of the Navy. The Department of the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) is focused on identifying cost-effective renewable energy projects for Department of the Navy installations. REPO is the central management office for execution oversight working closely with several other departments to build renewable energy projects.
Mr. Griffin’s three REPO project development models created economic benefits for the Navy by leveraging alternative financing structures. His Model 1 projects (385 megawatts) aggregated the loads across a region to get cheaper power for the Navy while providing power diversification and cost stability, with one project in Southern California resulting in at least $90 million dollars in utility savings for the Navy across the term of the contract. The Model 2 (550 megawatts) third-party financing provided energy security for the hosting base and surrounding community. Lease considerations for this projects are projected to provide $50 million in on-base infrastructure upgrades and energy resiliency projects, including battery storage and community microgrids. On one installation, the addition of renewable energy and the infrastructure upgrades will allow for the elimination of 42 existing generators at annual savings in excess of $293,000. His Model 3 projects (164 megawatts) are on-base power purchase agreements that provide cost stability and energy security for the installation. The Navy typically sells the RECs from renewable energy projects to help with financing.
Robert Griffin’s leadership, experience and creativity in developing public-private financed projects was invaluable to REPO in meeting its one-gigawatt project development goal.
MCE (Marin Clean Energy)
As California’s first Community Choice Aggregator, MCE has demonstrated the efficacy of a community-based, not-for-profit electricity provider model, and has blazed a trail that is now being followed by the burgeoning Community Choice movement—with dozens of new programs forming, or in the process of being established, throughout the state to offer more renewable energy to their communities.
MCE serves 250,000 residential, commercial, and agricultural customers throughout the Bay Area in Marin and Napa Counties, and the cities of Benicia, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Richmond, San Pablo and Walnut Creek. 80% of residents and businesses have chosen either MCE’s Light Green 50% renewable energy service, or Deep Green 100% renewables. This shift to renewable energy supply has reduced more than 122,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases in MCE’s first 4 years of operation. 199 MW of new California renewables have been built for MCE customers, supporting more than 2,800 jobs. MCE is a catalyst for new local renewable buildout, with 19 MW of renewables at nine new project sites within its service area.
By empowering communities and customers with alternative renewable energy service options, and providing a competitive new marketplace for enterprising energy suppliers, MCE is helping to strengthen and democratize California’s energy economy.
Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Program
Pacific Power pioneered a market-leading approach to supplying their Green-e Energy certified Blue Sky Usage & Habitat products to drive change in the voluntary green power market. The company leverages renewable energy certificates as a financial instrument, making them as integral in new project development financing as a PPA. Pacific Power blends in RECs procured at above-market prices which are: 1) contracted for before a project is built, 2) for multiple-year terms, 3) at a price and term driven by what the project needs to get built/financed. In addition to driving large-scale project development, these contracts convey promotional rights like facility naming, tours, photos, videos and real-time generation data, increasing value to participants. As a result of successfully pursuing this strategy, two projects have already broken ground: Ewauna Solar, where a long-term renewable energy certificate contract accounting for 30% of Ewauna’s projected income over its first three years helped bring this 1MW project to Southern Oregon where 40% of Pacific Power’s Oregon customers reside; and Huntington Wind, in which multi-year contract for RECs at above-market prices was essential in securing financing for this 50MW Oregon wind farm that is projected to supply 38% of the program’s annual renewable energy certificates through 2018.This innovative financing approach is replicable and scalable, and could help keep green pricing programs relevant and impactful.
CRS Market Development Awards: Leadership in Green Power Education
John Schaeffer, the Solar Living Institute and Real Goods
This year marks two decades of the Solar Living Center providing inspiration and environmental education around green power, and 38 years since John Schaeffer founded Real Goods. In 1995, John Schaeffer and a team of coworkers at Real Goods built the Solar Living Center in Hopland, California on what was once a California Department of Transportation dumping ground. The 12-acre campus contains permaculture gardens, renewable energy and sustainable living demonstrations, and an environmental education center. In 1998, Schaeffer founded the educational nonprofit Solar Living Institute, an educational nonprofit with a mission to promote sustainable living through inspirational environmental education. The Institute offers educational workshops onsite and online and offers yearly internships. Courses are taught by experienced practitioners who bring years of real world knowledge to the classroom with a focus on helping students prepare for job opportunities, start businesses, and live more sustainably. The Institute also hosts SolFest, the renewable energy festival that attracts more than 5,000 people each year. Since 1998, the Solar Living Institute has held green power workshops and trainings for over 10,000 trainees. Many solar installers in Northern California experienced their first training at the Solar Living Institute. The Solar Living Center, which is entirely solar powered, sees an annual visitor count of 150,000. Over the last twenty years, the Solar Living Center has helped cultivate businesses and ideas that were once alternative but are now mainstream.
2016 CRS Market Development Award Winners
Last year Apple demonstrated market leadership by showing that a company can be 100 percent renewable in the U.S.—even with an annual domestic energy load approaching 1 billion kilowatt-hours. This year Apple is setting a highly visible proof point internationally—and not just for Apple facilities (corporate offices, retail stores, and data centers), but also for their supply chain partners (which have a carbon footprint 77 times larger than Apple’s facilities). First, Apple announced the completion last October of a 40-megawatt solar PV project in Sichuan, China that supports all of Apple’s corporate and retail store energy use. Second, Apple announced a supply chain solar PV program in China with Apple building 200 megawatts, Foxconn building 400 megawatts, and other suppliers installing up to 2,000 megawatts. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is a key driver of these efforts, and has said: “Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now. The transition to a new green economy requires innovation, ambition and purpose. We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort.”
Apple is directly working with CRS to expand international markets. In Singapore, Apple is providing seed funding for CRS to explore options for Green-e Energy certification—which likely will be the first such program outside North America. Furthermore, Apple is leading an effort with APX to develop a certificate tracking system similar to those in use in the U.S. and Europe. On April 8, 2016, Apple participated in the first Asian renewable energy certificate creation, transfer, and retirement in support of its Singapore corporate office. Since September 1 the tracking system has been opened to all renewable energy generators and purchasers in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia. Creation of a robust REC tracking system with third-party certification is an essential first step in creating an active renewable energy market in Asia—where such a market does not yet exist—and Apple is leading this effort.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The company works to minimize the environmental impact of its services.
Google procures large volumes of renewable power for its data center operations. In 2015, Google procured more than 2 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy to power its operations, equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 190,000 average American homes. As of December 2015, the company had signed 15 long-term power purchase agreements with wind and solar projects totaling more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, making Google one of the largest non-utility purchasers of renewable energy in the country. These long-term commitments provide project developers with the financial certainty and scale necessary to build new renewable energy projects. Google also pilots innovative renewable energy technologies on its campuses, allowing its operations to run more efficiently while helping technologies evolve and scale. Google’s campus in Mountain View has a 1.9 MW solar array and a 970 kilowatt cogeneration unit, which uses local landfill gas to generate electricity and heat.
Google won the Partner of the Year award in 2011 and 2014.
CRS Market Development Awards: Green Power Leader of the Year
Governor Jerry Brown
Since he took office in 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown has shepherded through the most aggressive renewable energy legislation by far of any state, while serving as a tireless champion of both energy efficiency and renewable energy. Shortly after his inauguration in 2011, Governor Brown signed SBX1-2, which codified the most aggressive and ambitious renewable portfolio standard (RPS) at the time, 33 percent by 2020. Two years later he signed SB 43, which established the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, wherein the State’s largest three investor-owned utilities were directed to establish opt-in green pricing programs for their customers. In 2015 Governor Brown once again set a new benchmark by signing Senate Bill 350, which established a new 50% by 2030 RPS—the highest in the country—and applied it to all retail sellers and utilities. SB 350 also directed the state to double energy efficiency in homes, offices, and factories by 2030. In the inaugural speech for his record fourth term in January 2015, Governor Brown spoke extensively on reducing the state’s carbon footprint, and outlined his three main goals for his last term, which included increasing clean energy use to 50% statewide. Governor Jerry Brown has done an exceptional job increasing the adoption of green power while consistently emphasizing the importance of energy efficiency.
For additional information on Center for Resource Solutions, visit www.resource-solutions.org.
For questions about the CRS Market Development Awards, contact Marcia Sitcoske at 415-561-2103 or email@example.com.
Electricity generated from renewable sources is becoming increasingly available nationwide. By choosing green power instead of conventional electricity, consumers, businesses, and organizations can support increased deployment of renewable energy technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation and increase energy security.
To recognize the actions of individuals, companies and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through green power markets, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) sponsored the 2016 Green Power Leadership Awards. The 2016 Green Power Leadership Awards were held on Monday, October 17, 2016 in conjunction with Renewable Energy Markets 2016.
No endorsement by the EPA is intended or implied.