Portland Named One of Green Power Elite

Can a major metropolitan city make use of green power in meaningful numbers? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says ‘yes’–and the green city of Portland, Oregon, is leading the way.

According to a recent release, Portland is the largest city to make the EPA’s elite list of Green Power Communities, an honor it earned by purchasing 16 million kilowatt-hours of green power–generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower–per year, much of which is generated on-site. This comes out to covering 10 percent of Portland’s municipal power needs, earning it top ranking within the the EPA’s Green Power Communities Challenge.

Portland Charging Station

image via Portland General Electric

Within the City of Portland, a few large institutions were also recognized for their green power leadership, including Lewis & Clark College, Port of Portland, and the Portland Convention Center. All told, Portland’s collective green power purchase (more than 675 million killowatt hours) is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 93,000 passenger vehicles every year.

Corvallis, Oregon, also distinguished itself this year by covering 15 percent of its power needs with green power, beating out Portland for the honor of being named a Green Power Community of the Year (one of two). A heavy hitter in that equation was Oregon State University, located in Corvallis, which uses a whopping 51 million killowatt hours of green power a year, covering more than half of its electricity use.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.