Top Green Power Programs in the U.S.
Four leading green power organizations were recognized for their efforts in expanding renewable energy to customers and creating thousands of jobs at yesterday's 11th annual Green Power Leadership Awards in San Francisco, Calif.
The winners include non-utility suppliers, 3Degrees and Washington Gas Energy Sources (WGES), Detroit Edison (DTE Energy) as Utility Green Power Program of the Year and The Clean Energy Collective as Innovative Green Power Program of the Year.
"These organizations have made a strong commitment to offer families and businesses more options to purchase electricity from clean energy sources," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Their efforts support increased deployment of renewable energy technologies, create jobs, and transform business practices into sustainable solutions that help diversify our nation's energy supply and protect the environment."
Today, approximately 860 utilities offer green power programs throughout the US, an area where annual sales have more than doubled since 2005, according to the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Furthermore, the green power market has grown at an annual rate of 31 percent since 2006 and millions of customers have purchased green power through a related program or renewable certificates marketer.
Named one of America's Fastest Growing Companies by Inc Magazine, 3Degrees was recognized for supplying voluntary customers with Green-e Energy Certified RECs from about 250 renewable generation facilities across the country, 70 percent of which were wind farms. In 2010, the company helped its green power program partners spread the word to almost 5 million residential and commercial customers.
"Voluntary green power programs enable utilities and their customers to increase overall demand for renewable energy," said Adam Capage, Vice President of Utility Partnerships. "Our leadership in this growing market is a result of our unique understanding of how utilities can develop cost-effective green power programs that support local and regional renewable energy projects in a way that builds value for the utility, its customers, and other key stakeholders."
WGES has become one of the largest energy suppliers in the Mid-Atlantic region, funding the most solar projects than any other developer in its region and becoming one of the first suppliers to include carbon offsets in natural gas efforts.
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DTE Energy has committed over $5.7 million to contracts for renewable energy in Michigan, enabling the expansion of new wind and biomass facilities throughout the state.
The CEC has worked hard to enable a model for solar ownership to make it affordable and cost-effective for customers. By providing utilities and customers with a low-risk renewable energy source, the new model has great potential to expand the marketplace for clean energy ownership across the country.