2015 Green Power Leadership Award Winners

We would like to congratulate the winners of the 2015 Green Power Leadership Awards (GPLAs). They received their awards at the ceremony taking place on Monday, October 19, 2015 at the Renewable Energy Markets conference in Washington, D.C. You can read the release about the CRS Market Development Awards Winners and the EPA Award Winners.

2015 Green Power Leadership Awards: Winner Video from Center for Resource Solutions.

2015 CRS Market Development Award Winners

The three Market Development Awards recognize individuals, companies, or other renewable energy industry leaders that have helped build the market for green power:

  • Green Power Market Development: Apple Inc., California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • Leadership in Green Power Education: Bonneville Environmental Foundation
  • Green Power Leader of the Year: Marty Sedler, Intel

2015 EPA Partner and Supplier Award Winners

EPA recognized leading green power purchasers and suppliers in five categories: Green Power Partner of the Year, Green Power Purchasing, On-site Generation, Sustained Excellence in Green Power, and Green Power Supplier of the Year. This year’s Green Power Partner and Supplier Award Winners are:

  • Green Power Partner of the Year: Apple Inc., Microsoft Corporation, National Hockey League, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Tucson Unified School District
  • Green Power Purchasing: Ahold USA; Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences; Government of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.); H&M; Hypertherm, Inc.; Kaiser Permanente / California, Colorado, Northwest, and Mid-Atlantic Regions; Northwestern University; Saunders Hotel Group; Traditional Medicinals; Ulster County, NY; State Street Corporation
  • On-site Generation: General Motors / GMVM Ft. Wayne; City of Hayward, CA / Water Pollution Control Facility; New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Sustained Excellence in Green Power: Intel Corporation; Kohl’s Department Stores; TD Bank
  • Green Power Supplier of the Year: 3Degrees, Renewable Choice Energy, Silicon Valley Power

View the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Awards page

2015 GPLA Winner Descriptions

CRS Market Development Awards: Green Power Market Development

Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. has demonstrated its commitment to renewable energy by using 100 percent renewable energy across its operations in the U.S.—including data centers, corporate facilities, and retail stores—and nearly 90 percent of its overseas operations.

Apple has an annual energy load of approximately a billion kWh a year. Apple’s solution includes using a significant amount of new, Apple-created renewable projects. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook personally announced Apple’s new 130-MW solar PV project in February 2015, calling it “the right thing to do both socially and financially.” Apple, with this one bold statement, advanced the case for voluntary use of renewable energy deep into corporate boardrooms all throughout the Fortune 500.

With four operational data centers, over 250 retail stores, and over 100 corporate offices in the U.S. alone, Apple’s commitment means implementing renewable solutions in almost every state and in numerous regulatory environments—many of which are challenging to renewable energy. Details of how Apple has done this are shared in the company’s annual Environmental Responsibility report.

In 2014, Apple worked with CRS staff to develop a new Green-e Energy certification option that is helping to expand the voluntary market by giving direct purchases and onsite generation the ability to be third-party certified. Called “Green-e Direct,” this option was first used by Apple and is available to organizations across North America that want to open their renewable energy initiatives to Green-e certification. Apple helped develop and launch Green-e Direct as its first participant, with certification of the renewable energy purchased in support of its Reno, NV data center.

California Public Utilities Commission
In 2013, California passed Senate Bill 43, which requires each of California’s three big investor-owned utilities—PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E—to develop new shared renewables programs that give energy customers the opportunity to subscribe to an off-site renewable energy project and get utility bill credit for their portion of avoided energy production. As the state regulatory agency tasked with implementing SB 43, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has been given an extraordinarily complex task, with the three utilities all proposing different program structures and a legislative requirement that all related costs and benefits be allocated to participating customers only. In addition, the legislation requires that the 600 MW of shared renewables come from new projects that aren’t currently supporting existing programs, and that customers have the choice to participate either by purchasing energy from a pool of renewable projects selected by the utilities or through an “Enhanced Community Renewables” program element that will allow clean energy developers to market their projects directly to customers.

Throughout the implementation of this incredibly ambitious and forward-reaching legislation, the CPUC has met its goals, including the January 29, 2015 decision that began the implementation of SB 43, and supported the development of quality programs by the California IOUs by requiring Green-e certification for all of them. Shared renewable programs like California’s had never been attempted at the state level, but they offer great promise as a way of expanding the benefits of renewable energy to more state residents—a vital element for an equitable clean energy future.

U.S. Green Building Council
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is a market-driven leadership standard for green building. Certifying 1.85 million square feet every day, it is one of the world’s premier green building rating systems. LEED is made up of a combination of credit categories, each addressing a different topic within building design, construction, management, and operation.

The Energy and Atmosphere credit category approaches energy from a holistic perspective, addressing energy use reduction and renewable energy sources. Since LEED’s debut in 2000, it has included a Green Power credit that rewards projects for incorporating grid-source, renewable energy technologies. This has resulted in more than 742 million gross square feet of space using Green-e certified renewable energy (or equivalent) in the past 15 years.

LEED v4, the latest version of the green building rating system, pushes the market even further with higher thresholds for renewable energy use, asking building projects commit to purchasing at least 50% of their power for at least five years from Green-e certified RECs or carbon offset program in order to fulfill the requirements of the Green Power credit. Previously the requirement was to purchase at least 35% of power for two years from a qualified source.

Instead of purely focusing on environmental aspects, USGBC took a business-driven approach, encouraging green power as part of a larger system for green buildings and most project teams have chosen to pursue it. With over 29,000 LEED-certified commercial projects and another 43,000 in the pipeline, the impact of the Green Power credit in LEED is one that is both long-lasting and far-reaching.


CRS Market Development Awards: Leadership in Green Power Education

Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) believes education plays a critical role in creating the next generation of leaders who will be tasked with solving the world’s most pressing energy challenges. For 13 years, BEF’s Solar 4R Schools program has partnered with over one hundred utilities, corporations, foundations, and community funding partners to deliver comprehensive K-12 renewable energy science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education by providing interactive teacher training, customized science kits, teacher-generated and peer-tested classroom curricula, and access to real-time renewable energy generation data for use in the classroom.

BEF’s Solar 4R Schools has worked collaboratively with investor-owned and public utilities to help meet complementary goals around energy literacy and increasing public understanding and participation in renewable energy technologies. Since 2006, Clark Public Utilities’ Green Lights program in Washington state has refined ways to directly link utility customers to renewable energy education and demonstration-scale educational solar projects. To date, the partnership has supported PV installations at 11 schools (with several more in progress)—adding nearly 100kW of solar energy capacity and engaging over 5,000 students.

Corporate partners play a unique role in supporting innovative solutions that bring their operations in balance with the environment and contribute to local communities. In 2014, Chevrolet began partnering with Solar 4R Schools to support renewable energy education training and resources for teachers in select communities served by dealerships with installed 10+kW solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) canopy charging stations. Chevrolet dealer representatives were on-hand to demonstrate the latest in EV and hybrid car technology directly to teachers, who showed a keen interest and enthusiasm in leveraging this local, place-based learning opportunity with their students. With Chevrolet’s support, Solar 4R Schools has provided STEM education training and curricular resources to over 60 educators and nearly 11,000 students in Northern California annually.

Solar 4R Schools also strives to engage communities in renewable STEM education through engineering challenge events like solar car or boat races. With generous support from the Boeing Foundation, Solar 4R Schools piloted their first solar car derby event in 2014 at Safeco Field, which attracted 14 student teams from the Puget Sound area. As a precursor to the challenge event, Solar 4R Schools provided solar energy content training and durable science kit materials to 55 area teachers. Participating teachers integrated renewable energy content into their classrooms–engaging over 1,600 area students. A high level of family and community participation and enthusiasm at the event especially energized teachers, BEF staff and partners, as adult attendance at the event outnumbered students by 150 percent.

With the help of our corporate, utility, and philanthropic partners, Solar 4R Schools has supported over 250 projects in 19 states—preparing 2,000 teachers to engage over 100,000 students in renewable energy topics in the classroom.


CRS Market Development Awards: Green Power Leader of the Year

Marty Sedler
As Director of Global Utilities and Infrastructure at Intel, for over 20 years Marty Sedler has been an outspoken advocate for the responsibility of businesses of all sizes to green their electricity use with renewable energy. In focusing on Intel’s energy use, he is responsible for energy supply and infrastructure for all company facilities, as well as Intel’s purchasing, installation, and strategy in its global renewable energy policy. By 2015, he has been able to directly facilitate the construction of 43 alternative energy supply projects, using more than 10 technology applications and 23 solar electric installations at Intel locations around the world with a capacity of over 15 MW that collectively generate more than 15,000 MWh annually.

Since 2008, Intel has been the largest voluntary purchaser of green power in the U.S. In 2014 it purchased over 3.1 million MWh of green power, enough to meet 100% of its U.S. electricity use for the year. As of April 2015, Intel continued to be listed in the top spot in the Green Power Partnership’s National Top 100 list, the Fortune 50 list, and others. This ongoing commitment is met not only with REC purchases and onsite alternative energy solutions such as; solar, but power purchase agreements with individual generators and onsite projects that include solar hot water, ground heat-pumps, micro-wind turbines, EV charging stations, and more on Intel campuses. Marty was instrumental in Intel serving as one of the 12 initial signatories of the World Wildlife Federation’s Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles in 2014, which outlines the challenges and common needs companies face in procuring renewable energy.

Marty not only ensures Intel plays a key role in moving the needle of the U.S. voluntary renewable energy market every year, but his long history as a leader, influencer, and vocal advocate in promoting clean energy as an integral part of corporate environmental responsibility makes him singularly deserving of the 2015 Green Power Leader of the Year Award.


Additional Information
For additional information on Center for Resource Solutions, visit www.resource-solutions.org.

For questions about the CRS Market Development Awards, contact Lucy Harbor at 415-561-2103 or lucy.harbor@resource-solutions.org.


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 2015 Green Power Leadership Awards. The 2015 Green Power Leadership Awards were held on Monday, October 19, 2015 in conjunction with Renewable Energy Markets 2015.


No endorsement by the EPA is intended or implied.