Find out how Google, Microsoft, Starbucks and other 2018 EPA awardees are increasing green power usage

by Brianna Crandall — November 9, 2018 — The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its 18th annual Green Power Leadership Awards recognizing 10 Green Power Partners across the country including Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and the University of California.

EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum remarked:

The 2018 Green Power Leadership Award winners have proven real leadership, demonstrating to American businesses that through their investments they can together not only grow America’s renewable energy market, but also reduce air emissions and protect the environment.

The award winners are being recognized for their efforts in advancing the nation’s voluntary green power market. From using enough renewable energy to meet 100% of electricity needs to signing long-term contracts that enable new green power project development, these organizations are demonstrating leadership by furthering the case for accessible, affordable green power use.

The winners for each of the three award categories are:

Green Power Partner of the Year

  • Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA) increased its green power use by 36% in the past year and is on track to reach its goal to increase the number of data centers powered by local, directly connected renewable generation facilities up to 50% by the end of 2018.

Direct Project Engagement

  • Jackson Family Wines (Santa Rosa, CA) procures nearly 37 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy, 9 million of which is onsite solar generation, for 100% of its annual electricity usage.
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) hosts the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) carport system in the US through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA), and operates an anaerobic digestion system that turns dairy farm and dining hall food waste into renewable energy.
  • The Procter & Gamble Company (Cincinnati, OH) procures 743 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually utilizing multiple supply options, including an onsite biomass PPA, a financial wind PPA, wind REC contracts, and onsite solar generation.
  • T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA) is the first major US telecommunications company to commit to 100% green power (by 2021), and signed a financial PPA for 625 million kilowatt-hours annually — the largest wind power investment to date made by a wireless company.
  • University of California (Oakland, CA) increased its voluntary renewable energy use by 40% system-wide, completed 12 new onsite solar projects, hosts more than 40 MW of onsite solar capacity with PV systems at every campus, and has a goal to be the first major research university system to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

Excellence in Green Power Use

  • Anheuser-Busch Companies (St. Louis, MO) procures more than 727 million kilowatt-hours of green power for 55% of its annual electricity use, which includes a 15-year financial PPA with a wind farm that generates nearly 603 million kilowatt-hours annually.
  • Equinix (Redwood City, CA) was the first data center company to publicly commit to a goal of 100% renewable energy use across its global footprint, and achieved a 42% green power use growth rate year-over-year.
  • Google (Mountain View, CA) expanded its renewable energy procurement to 53% of its electric load in the US utilizing varied green power products and supply types ranging from onsite landfill gas and solar to utility green power products to long-term PPAs.
  • Starbucks Coffee Company (Seattle, WA) increased its green power use more than 81 million kilowatt-hours last year, and by more than 474 million kilowatt-hours since 2014.

The EPA established the Green Power Partnership (GPP) in 2001 to protect human health and the environment by increasing organizations’ voluntary green power use to advance the US market for renewable energy and development of those resources. The program provides a framework that includes credible usage benchmarks, market information, technical assistance, and public recognition to companies and other organizations that use green power.

The Green Power Leadership Awards are sponsored by EPA’s Green Power Partnership program in collaboration with the Center for Resource Solutions. For more information about the awards and a full list of the 2018 winners, visit the EPA website.