EPA Honors Renewable Power Superstars

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) isn’t only about bringing down the hammer on companies and other entities that run afoul of the law. The agency likes to call out those who do good, too, with its Green Power Leadership Awards.  This year’s 18 award winners, the EPA said, earned their brownie points for using a combined 5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. In terms of CO2 emissions, that’s like taking more than 700,000 cars off the roads.

The long list of winners is on the Green Power Partnership website, but a few highlights the EPA pointed to in its press release: Motorola, Kohl’s Department Stores, TD Bank and Whole Foods Market were named Green Power Partners of the Year, and, in a first-time category, Park City, Utah and Corvallis, Ore., won the title Green Power Communities of the Year.

image via Whole Foods

The voluntary Green Power Partnership tries to help power purchases to turn to renewables “by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources.” The agency counts electricity produced from a solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and “low-impact hydro” as green.

You can find out who in your neck of the woods participates in the program by using the EPA’s Green Power Locator. In addition, the agency offers regularly updated information on the top-performing partners, including a list of “100% purchasers,” which just happens to include award winners Kohl’s, Whole Foods and TD Bank.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.