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Portland dubbed one of the country’s greenest communities with EPA designation

Release Date: 10/20/2010
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

(Seattle—October 20, 2010) Portland made EPA’s elite list of Green Power Communities for the city’s extensive efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The city is the largest to achieve this designation and is top-ranked for green power usage.

Portland joined EPA’s Green Power Partnership in 2001 as one of its founding members. The city’s municipal operations are using nearly 16 million kilowatt-hours of green power, much of which is generated on-site and is enough to meet 10 percent of its needs. Other green power purchasers include the city’s streetcar operations, Lewis & Clark College, the Port of Portland, and the Oregon Convention Center.

“Portland is setting an excellent example for the nation to show that a major metropolitan city can successfully integrate green power into its infrastructure,” said Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest. “We hope the city will continue down the path for more green power and that other communities will follow suit.”

Portland’s collective green power purchase of more than 675 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 93,000 passenger vehicles per year.

In addition, Corvallis, Oregon, Intel Corporation and the Port of Portland were recognized for their green power purchasing.

  • Corvallis is a Green Power Community of the Year, one of only two in the nation. The city uses 100 million kWh annually, approximately 15 percent of its electricity consumption. Oregon State University is the largest single purchaser of green power in Corvallis, using over 51 million kWh of green power to cover more than half of its electricity use.
  • Intel Corporation leads the way as the nation’s largest voluntary buyer of green power. In the last year, Intel increased its green power usage by 10 percent to more than 1.4 billion kWh, equal to more than 50 percent of its U.S. electric use.
  • The Port of Portland is a leader in local green power usage, purchasing 75 million kWh of wind-derived renewable energy certificates to cover all its electricity needs. The port also produces 30,000 kWh of green power through solar panels at Portland International Airport.
In EPA Green Power Communities the local government, businesses, and residents collectively procure green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's purchase requirements. More than 30 cities and towns in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin are green power communities. Collectively they buy more than 900 million kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the CO2 from the electricity use of nearly 80,000 average American homes.

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, 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.