Portland Leads Utility Green Power Programs
Oregon’s Portland General Electric leads the nation for selling the largest amount of renewable energy in 2012 through its voluntary green power program. The utility – with green power sales of 834,125 MWh per year – claimed the top spot from Austin Energy in Austin, Texas, which ranked second with 744,443 MWh in 2012 total sales, according to National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Top 10 rankings.
The other top utilities for renewable energy sales are:
- PacifiCorp with 604,007 MWh
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District with 416,477 MWh
- Xcel Energy with 390,056 MWh
- Puget Sound Energy with 365,796
- Connecticut Light and Power Co. / United Illuminating with 254,838 MWh
- Dominion Virginia Power with 250,364 MWh
- Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. with 210,187 MWh
- CPS Energy with 179,786 MWh
Austin Energy led the NREL’s Top 10 listing in 2010, while PGE was the runner up at that time. Dominion Virginia Power and Oklahoma Gas & Electric are new to this year’s list of leaders for renewable energy sales.
Altogether, the green power sales of the top 10 utility programs exceeded 4.2 million MWh in 2012, up from 3.9 million MWh in 2010. Wind energy represents approximately 85 percent of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide, NREL said.
The NREL has top 10 rankings of utility green power programs in the following categories:
- Total sales of renewable energy to program participants;
- Total number of customer participants;
- Percentage of customer participation;
- Green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales; and
- Lowest price premium charged for a green power program using new renewable resources.
Under these voluntary programs, residential and commercial consumers essentially support additional electricity production from renewable resources. With the additional demand utilities are able pursue renewable sources beyond the procurement quotas established by state renewable portfolio standards, NREL said.
The report also notes that six utilities – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy (Colorado only), City of Palo Alto (California), Alameda Municipal Power and PacifiCorp – provided green power supply that included at least 2 percent solar.
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