The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday that the agency will be completely powered by renewable energy. The agency has signed a contract with Phases Energy Services to purchase more than 100 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in renewable energy certificates, effective September first.
This green-power purchase brings the agency’s power total to nearly 300 million kWh per year, the equivalent of 100 percent of the EPA’s electricity.
The program began in 1999, when the agency’s Region 9 laboratory became the first federal facility to purchase green power equal to its total annual electricity consumption.
Since then, the program has continued to expand as a way to offset demand of conventional electricity sources. Renewable energy sources include wind power, geothermal sources, and biomass through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs).
RECs reduce emissions associated with conventional electricity sources. On an annual basis, EPA's total green power purchases will offset more than 600 million pounds of carbon dioxide, approximately the amount of 54,000 cars annually.