SOURCE: 3Degrees

July 07, 2010 14:11 ET

EPA Names Santa Clara the Top Green Power Community in the United States

Santa Clara Secures Highest Ranking Thanks to Over 4,000 Green Power Program Participants

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - July 7, 2010) -  The city of Santa Clara has secured the top spot in the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Communities rankings with more than 163,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of the community's electricity usage coming from voluntary purchases of green power.

Santa Clara captured the top ranking thanks to large numbers of city residents and businesses choosing to purchase renewable energy. In 2009, businesses in Santa Clara, led by Santa Clara University and Applied Materials, purchased almost 38,000 MWhs of renewable energy certificates (RECs) through Silicon Valley Power's Santa Clara Green Power program. The 4,000 residential participants in the Santa Clara program purchased the equivalent of over 25,000 MWh of wind and solar. In addition, some Santa Clara businesses supported renewable energy by purchasing RECs from other vendors. Most notably, the nation's largest purchaser of RECs is Santa Clara based Intel, which purchased the equivalent of over 1.4 million MWhs in 2009 for their national operations from a nation-wide supplier. Santa Clara Green Power, jointly managed by Silicon Valley Power and 3Degrees, has a customer participation rate of eight percent, the sixth best customer participation rate in the country.

"This achievement demonstrates our businesses' and residents' leadership in taking responsibility for the environmental impact of their electricity use," said Larry Owens of Silicon Valley Power (SVP), Santa Clara's municipal electric utility. "By installing on-site renewable power, or by choosing to green their electricity with programs like Santa Clara Green Power, our city residents and businesses are accelerating the nation's movement to a new, renewable energy economy."

Santa Clarans' voluntary green power purchases, which are above and beyond the utility's own purchases of renewable energy, helped prevent the emission of approximately 117,142 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from over 22,000 passenger vehicles a year, or the CO2 emissions from burning more than 600 railcars worth of coal.

This first place ranking by the EPA comes on the heels of SVP achieving fourth in the U.S. for new solar electric installations based on the average number of solar watts per customer installed in 2009, as ranked by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). SVP expects to double this pace of new solar installation in 2010.

About Silicon Valley Power

Silicon Valley Power is the trademark adopted for use by the century-old Electric Department of the City of Santa Clara, California. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, National Semiconductor and Yahoo!, at rates 25 to 45 percent below neighboring communities. SVP also offers customers a 100 percent renewable energy option through its Santa Clara Green Power program and is an active participant in the wholesale energy markets in the Western United States. Visit for more information.

About 3Degrees

3Degrees' mission is to reduce the magnitude of climate change and accelerate the development of a renewable energy economy. 3Degrees realizes this mission by helping organizations intelligently and efficiently buy, sell and market certified environmental commodities, such as renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets. 3Degrees received the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Green Power Leadership Award for Non-Utility Green Power Supplier of the Year.

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