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Local, federal government well represented among national top 50 green power users

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Collectively, these top Green Power Partners purchase 13.5 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually, and that amount is growing.

I just posted a brief item on my GreenTech Pastures blog about the latest national green power list from the U.S. Environment Protection agency. High-tech giant Intel more than easily claimed the top spot by buying more than 2.5 billion kilowatt hours worth of energy generated by renewable sources. The EPA defines those sources as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydropower. Green power gets counted when its an actual purchase or when it is in the form of renewable energy credits. Intel is a serious buyer of RECS, but it also substantial solar investments.

The total amount of green power purchased by the top 50 on the Green Power list is 13.5 billion kilowatt hours, which is the electricity usage of approximately 1.1 million average American homes.

What continues to floor me is the investment that communities in Texas are making, notably in wind technology. Houston, for example, shows up at No. 6, while Dallas is No. 9.

Here is the rest of the top 10:

  • Kohl’s Department Stores = 1.4 billion kilowatt hours (100 percent)
  • Whole Foods Market = 817.7 million kilowatt hours (100 percent)
  • Starbucks = 573.4 million kilowatt hours (55 percent)
  • Commonwealth of Pennsyvlania = 500 million kilowatt hours (50 percent)
  • City of Houston, Texas = 438 million kilowatt hours (34 percent)
  • Johnson & Johnson = 416.5 million kilowatt hours (39 percent)
  • Staples = 341.5 million kilowatt hours (52 percent)
  • City of Dallas, Texas = 302.9 million kilowatt hours (40 percent)
  • HSBC North America = 300 million kilowatt hours (112 percent)

There are some other stories here that are worth repeating. First off, Staples has more than doubled its green power commitment in the past year. Best Buy, Suffolk County, N.Y., and Drexel University made the list for the first time. And, as I have already mentioned, it isn't just large corporations that are investing in green power. Aside from the Texas cities I already mentioned, here are other communities or local governments that are doing their part:

  • District of Columbia = 244.2 million kilowatt hours (50 percent)
  • City of Chicago = 215 million kilowatt hours (20 percent)
  • State of Illinois = 176 million kilowatt hours (33 percent)
  • Montgomery County Clean Energy Buyers Group = 134.6 million kilowatt hours (25 percent)
  • Suffolk County, N.Y. = 117 million kilowatt hours (90 percent)
  • Chicago Public Schools = 107.7 million kilowatt hours (20 percent)
  • State of Connecticut = 107.2 million kilowatt hours (17 percent)
  • State of Wisconsin = 97.4 million kilowatt hours (10 percent)
  • Port of Portland = 75 million kilowatt hours (106 percent)

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't note that there are some very large federal agencies on the top 50 list. they include:

  • EPA = 262.1 million kilowatt hours (100 percent)
  • U.S. Air Force = 243.9  million kilowatt hours (3 percent)
  • U.S. Department of Energy = 188.6 million kilowatt hours (4 percent)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs = 150 million kilowatt hours (5 percent)

Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure