EPA Heaps Green Power Love On Intel

Intel, Kohl’s, Whole Foods, Starbucks and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – three months ago those were the top five performers in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership program, and the latest figures again show that quintet, in that order, out in front. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been significant changes.

Right at the top, for instance, Intel went from 51 percent of its total energy coming from green sources to 88 percent, as it subbed out more than 1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) with power from biogas, biomass, geothermal, small-hydro, solar and wind. This is the largest green power purchase to date in the partnership, said the EPA, and is equivalent to avoiding carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 218,000 average American homes.

green power rankings, EPA, Intel

image via Intel

Another big gainer was Staples, which went from 28th on the list in October 2010, with 146 million kWh (22 percent of its total electricity used), to eighth in the latest rankings, getting 341 million kWh – 52 percent of its electricity – from green sources. The were also three newcomers to the Top 50 list, the EPA noted: Best Buy, Suffolk County, N.Y., and Drexel University.

The EPA said that some 1,300 organizations are now part of the Green Power Partnership, using more than 19.2 billion kWh of green power annually. The amount of CO2 emissions avoided is said to be the equivalent of taking 1.7 million average American homes off the grid.

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.