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San Francisco Bay Area Municipalities Get Thumbs up from the Federal Government for Fighting Climate Change

Release Date: 08/06/2010
Contact Information: Media Contact:  Mary Simms, simms.mary@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCOThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Northern California based Marin Energy Authority will for the first time appear on EPA’s Top 20 list of the largest local government green power purchasers nationwide (ranked as No. 13). Equally impressive, the City of Santa Cruz’s Wastewater Treatment Facility will for the first time appear on EPA’s Top 20 list of partners generating and consuming the most green power on-site (ranked as No. 17).

Green power is generated from a subset of renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Green power sources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies and produce no human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Purchases of green power also help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.

“EPA’s announcement underscores the vital local efforts to move beyond traditional sources of electricity generation in order to fight climate change and support clean energy alternatives,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “By using and purchasing green power, these leaders are expanding America’s renewable energy portfolio while significantly benefiting the environment.”

The Marin Energy Authority is purchasing more than 42 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually from Shell Energy North America, enough to meet 25 percent of the electricity use for its communities in Marin County. This is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 6,000 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 4,000 average American homes annually.

The City of Santa Cruz’s wastewater treatment facility is generating nearly 5 million kWh of green power annually from an on-site solar and biogas system, which is enough green power to meet 39 percent of the organization's electricity use. On-site green power is deployed directly on energy users’ facilities rather than at central power plants. This is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions of more than 600 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 400 average American homes annually.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,200 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of 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.

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