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EPA Region 8 goes totally green with clean, renewable wind power sources

Release Date: 1/6/2005
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      DENVER -- The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency is walking its green talk by buying renewable energy certificates for its Denver and Golden facilities totaling nearly seven million kilowatt-hours per year over the next three years.
The purchase, coordinated by EPA’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C, totals 4.7 million kilowatt-hours per year for its Denver Regional office, and 2.1 million kilowatt-hours per year for its Regional Laboratory in Golden, Colo. – a total of 6.8 million kilowatt-hours annually for the next three years.
Region 8 was one of the first federal facilities to join the Public Service [now Excel Energy] WindSource program. In October, 2000, EPA contracted with Public Service to purchase 100 percent wind energy for the electricity used at the Regional Lab.
"A guiding principle for EPA's activities is the use of environmental management systems which have a strong focus on energy conservation and use of renewable energy sources," said EPA Region 8 Administrator Robbie Roberts. "The purchase of renewable energy for 100 percent of our electricity needs shows our commitment to our EMS and to environmental improvement. EPA advocates use of renewable energy and now we are walking the talk."
The 6.8 million kilowatt hours that Region 8 will purchase annually is roughly equivalent to the annual output of one-and-a-half utility-scale wind turbines -- enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 944 average homes in Colorado. Or, to put it another way, use of the equivalent amount of energy from coal would require burning 3,400 tons of coal and emitting 7,820 tons of carbon dioxide each year, along with these other estimated air pollutants:

13.6 tons [27,200 pounds] of sulfur oxides per year
10.2 tons [20,400 pounds] of nitrogen oxides per year
1,360 pounds of particulates per year

David R. Lloyd, Director of the Facilities Management and Services Division in EPA’s Office of Administration and Resources Management, Washington D.C., said, “The EPA takes pride in this procurement as it supports greenhouse gas emission reductions for Federal agencies. The purchase of 100 percent zero-emission green power develops renewable energy markets on a local scale while providing global air quality benefits. This purchase also marks the beginning of a new partnership with the Western Area Power Administration. Green Power procurement is one more tool we can use to reduce the impact of EPA's facilities on the environment.”
Today, EPA purchases more than 220 million kilowatt-hours of green power each year for 26 laboratories and offices across the nation. This energy provides nearly 80 percent of the agency’s annual electrical needs.
Aquila, Inc. will provide 6.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year to the grid from the Colorado Green wind farm near Lamar in Prowers County, Colorado. This wind energy is certified by Green-e™.
Western Area Power Administration managed the solicitation and provided contracting services for this procurement. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided technical support.
Roberts said, “Western Area Power and private energy companies like Aquila are forward-thinking energy providers who see the economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy sources.”
For more information on green tags and renewable energy, visit EPA’s Green Power Web site at www.epa.gov/greeningepa/greenpower.htm. To find a renewable energy product in your area, visit the Green-e web site at www.green-e.org. For more about Western’s renewable resources program, log on to www.wapa.gov/powerm/pmtags.htm.