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EPA Launches Green Power Community Challenge Nationwide/Local governments expand use of green power

Release Date: 09/20/2010
Contact Information: Stacy Kika Kika.stacy@epa.gov 202-564-0906 202-564-4355 Cathy Milbourn Milbourn.cathy@epa.gov 202-564-7849 202-564-4355 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2010

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is kicking off its national “Green Power Community Challenge,” a year-long campaign to encourage cities, towns, villages, and Native American tribes to use renewable energy and fight climate change. Purchases of green power help to prevent greenhouse gas emissions and also help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity across the United States.

To participate in the challenge, a local government must join EPA’s Green Power Partnership and use green power in amounts that meet the program’s purchase requirements. The local government must also conduct a campaign to encourage local businesses and residents to collectively buy or produce green power on-site in amounts that meet EPA requirements.

More than 30 cities and towns in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin have become green power communities, and are collectively buying more than 900 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from the electricity use of nearly 80,000 average American homes.

The campaign is designed to expand upon the successes of the program, aiming to double the total aggregate amount of green power used by EPA Green Power Communities. As part of the national campaign, communities will compete to see which one can use the most green power and which one can achieve the highest green power percentage of total electricity use. There will be a separate award for each category with national recognition and special attention from EPA. The winners will be announced in September 2011.

During the challenge, from Sept. 20, 2010, to Sept. 1, 2011, communities will be ranked for the two award categories on EPA’s website on a quar­terly schedule; EPA will also provide technical assistance to help participants increase their green power usage.

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conven­tional power technologies, and produce no net increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

More information on EPA’s Green Power Community Challenge:
http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/gpcchallenge

More information about EPA’s Green Power Communities:
http://epa.gov/greenpower/communities/index.htm