Friday, January 7, 2011

Corvallis wins EPA’s ‘Green Power Community of the Year’

By: Nancy Raskauskas | Posted on | October 20, 2010 | Comments Off

Corvallis has received a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in recognition of its commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of
the nation’s voluntary green power market.
Public Works Director Steve Rogers will accept the award on behalf of the Corvallis community this evening (Oct. 20) in Portland at an event held in conjunction with the 2010 Renewable Energy Markets Conference.
In 2001, the City of Corvallis became one of the first municipalities in the country to purchase renewable energy, signing up for 100 kwh per month—about 1.5 percent of the organization’s electrical load—through
Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program. In 2005, the City increased its purchase to about 7 percent and became the first city on the West Coast to receive the EPA’s designation as a Green Power Community. Adding other Corvallis green power purchasers (Oregon State University, residents and businesses), the community’s total electricity use generated from green power is now more than 100 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) or nearly 15%.
Green power is electricity that is generated from renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and hydro. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while being better for the environment than traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.
The City organization’s expenditure on Blue Sky over nearly 10 years has been about $52,000. In addition to these funds going to encouraging the development of clean energy facilities, the City has seen a solid financial return on its investment. Last year, the City received a Pacific Power Blue Sky grant ($78,750) to install a photovoltaic system at Fire Station No. 4. In 2008, Corvallis’s status as a Green Power Community attracted the Energy Trust of Oregon here to launch the state’s first community energy program. During the year-long Corvallis Energy Challenge, the Energy Trust funded energy audits,
publicity, sponsorships, solar assessments, and public programs. At least half of the $112,000 that the Energy Trust spent on the Challenge went directly to people in this community.

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