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BPS News: EPA Recognizes Portland, Oregon with a Green Power Leadership Award

National awards honor leading green power purchasers

BPS NEWS

PORTLAND, OREGON
Christine Llobregat
City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
503-823-7007
christine.llobregat@portlandoregon.gov

U.S. EPA
Mollie Lemon
202-343-9859
Lemon.Mollie@epa.gov

 

EPA Recognizes Portland, Oregon with a Green Power Leadership Award

National awards honor leading green power purchasers

Michael Armstrong, BPS senior sustainability manager
Beth Craig, EPA, presents the Green Power Leadership Award to Michael Armstrong, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Photo by Trish Tunney Photography.

Portland, Ore. — The City of Portland announced today that it has received a 2011 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA presented Portland with the Green Power Community of the Year award at an event held in conjunction with the 2011 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco, California, on November 16, 2011.

“We are proud to receive this award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and we value our long-standing partnerships with Portland General Electric and Pacific Power,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “The purchase of green power by our citizens and businesses helps our community become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others communities across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk.”

In partnership with Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, Portland was one of only two communities nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for using green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA purchase requirements for residents’ and businesses’ collective green power purchase. Portland residents and businesses currently voluntarily purchase nearly 709 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet nine percent of the community’s electricity use. Green Power Communities (GPCs) distinguish themselves through their green power usage, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy, and impact on the green power market.

Portland is the second-largest GPC in terms of annual green power usage in Oregon, which leads the nation with 11 GPCs. In addition, Portland is the third-largest GPC in the country

“It was said a long time ago about Portland that the wealth of this city is found in its citizens,” said Pat Egan, Pacific Power’s vice president of customer and community affairs.  “Portland has proved that again by this tremendous example of our commitment to renewable energy.”

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

“Congratulations to the City of Portland for exemplifying sustainable leadership,” said Carol Dillin, PGE’s vice president of customer strategies and business development. “Together Portlanders have built one of the strongest renewable power communities in the nation and truly have earned the honor of a Green Power Leadership Award.”

According to the U.S. EPA, the Portland community's green power purchase of nearly 709 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 96,000 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 61,000 average American homes annually.

“EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award winners are driving the development of new renewable energy sources and demonstrating that green power makes good environmental and business sense,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “We applaud Portland, Oregon's efforts and hope that other communities follow their lead.”

Green power is part of Portland’s long-term strategy to reduce carbon emissions

Portland has a long history of engaging its residents, businesses, and stakeholders in developing and implementing strategies to reduce carbon emissions. In 1993, the city released its Carbon Dioxide Reduction Strategy, which was followed eight years later by the joint Multnomah County-City of Portland Local Action Plan on Global Warming. As of 2009, local emissions had declined 22 percent per capita since 1990 and had fallen to 2 percent below 1990 levels on an absolute basis. Today, the City’s Climate Action Plan has a community-wide goal of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

In 2010, as part of Portland’s effort to reduce the region’s carbon footprint, the City of Portland joined forces with Pacific Power and Portland General Electric and challenged residents and businesses to support green power through their utility’s voluntary program. The challenge was a great success, with Portland more than tripling its goal of 1,000 new signups with a total of 3,130 new residential and business customers.

In October 2010, Portland became an EPA Green Power Community — the largest in the nation at the time. Currently, Portland has the highest participation rate among Green Power Communities of its population size with more than 15 percent of its utilities’ customers buying renewable energy equal to nearly over 9 percent of its total electricity load.

Portland’s city government is also leading by example. Portland currently produces 16 million kilowatt-hours of electricity use from on-site renewable resources, including a 1.7 megawatt  biogas plant; a demonstration wind turbine; biogas-powered microturbines; hydro generation; solar parking meters, solar pool and water heating, and solar electric installations totaling more than 400 kilowatts.

About City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

To create and enhance a vibrant city, BPS combines the disciplines of planning and sustainability to advance Portland's diverse and distinct neighborhoods, promote a prosperous and low-carbon economy, and help ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape. BPS provides a forum for community engagement and education, and is a catalyst for action. With a city full of partners, BPS develops creative and practical solutions on issues as far ranging as comprehensive, neighborhood and environmental planning, urban design, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency and solar technologies. This innovative, interdisciplinary approach strengthens Portland's position as an international model of sustainable development practices and commerce. www.portlandonline.com/bps

About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 730,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 1.7 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.

About Portland General Electric

Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 825,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon. Visit our website at PortlandGeneral.com.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing over 21 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium-sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

About the Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year, On-site Generation, Green Power Purchasing, and Green Power Community of the Year. EPA’s Purchaser awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/.

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We Build Green Cities

Check out this video highlighting Portland's national leadership in sustainability.

Check out this video highlighting Portland's national leadership in sustainability. Chronicling our city’s journey from being nicknamed “Stumptown” to becoming “Green City” — and the steps taken by the community to increase livability, bring nature back to the city, create ecodistricts, improve transportation and grow our industries. It’s inspiring stuff!

The goal of We Build Green Cities is to better connect Portland's green innovations, intellectual capital and products with the rest of the world. In fact, Mayor Sam Adams and a consortium of eight clean tech companies recently showed the video during meetings in Hong Kong to recruit new investment for Portland, and support the growth of Portland business overseas. We Build Green Cities is a project of the Portland Sustainability Institute in partnership with Business Oregon, the City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission. 

Overview of the October N/NE Quadrant SAC Meeting and Next Steps

At the October 27th Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting, the project team presented a review of the remaining I-5 freeway improvement concepts being considered, including updated drawings that illustrate how each of the concepts function and perceived opportunities and constraints of the alternatives. In addition, ZGF Architects presented how each of the alternatives would mesh with local transportation and land use (i.e. resulting development opportunities, new east-west connections, bike and pedestrian crossings and right of way impacts etc.).
 
The SAC was then invited to view a 3-D model of the study area with 'plug-ins' for each of the concept alternatives. The model allowed the group the opportunity to visualize how each of the concepts would 'fit' within the urban fabric. See the October 27 meeting packet for additional details.
 
There will be a Transportation Subcommittee held on December 8th to discuss evaluation results and to gain feedback on concept alternatives. The next full Transportation related SAC will be held on January 19th, where evaluation results on each of the alternatives will be presented and staff will recommend a preferred concept alternative to be carried forward for further refinement.

The upcoming SAC meeting on November 17 will focus on the planning effort for the overall N/NE Quadrant study area. Staff will present revisions made to the draft proposed concept since the September 29 SAC meeting and request approval of the concept for the purposes of moving forward with the next phase of plan development.  See the November 17 meeting packet for additional details.

BPS News: City of Portland chosen to showcase Clean Energy Works program at National League of Cities event

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff shares program model with other cities at NLC conference

For immediate release

November 9, 2011

Contacts

Christine Llobregat

City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Christine.llobregat@portlandoregon.gov

503-756-7330

 

City of Portland chosen to showcase Clean Energy Works program at
National League of Cities event


Portland, ORE —  The National League of Cities (NLC) has honored the City of Portland for the development of the Clean Energy Works pilot program. Staff from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will showcase the program at NLC’s Congress of Cities and Exposition, held in Phoenix, Ariz., November 9 – 12.

“We are very proud of the Clean Energy Works program. During the pilot, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and its pilot program partners tested best practices and weatherized over 500 homes,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “Now the program has expanded statewide with Clean Energy Works Oregon. It’s my hope that other cities attending the NLC event will find this job-creation model adaptable to their own communities.”

At this event, NLC is recognizing  24 city programs that are examples of creative collaborations, increased efficiency and enhanced quality of life for residents. The programs were chosen in key areas of interest to cities in these difficult economic times and will serve as models for other communities in the areas of economic development, sustainability, infrastructure and children and families.

City Showcase: Green Cities/Sustainability Category
The City Showcase is NLC’s premier program celebrating city achievements. Successful, creative programs from cities and towns across the country are selected to be recognized for their accomplishments and invited to participate in networking activities. Programs are selected for their innovative practices and for their contribution to a collection of programs that demonstrates a wide range of geographical locations, city sizes, and topic areas.

Portland’s colleagues in the green cities and sustainability award category—highlighted below—strengthen local economies, enhance physical infrastructure, protect natural resources and promote public health. 


Clean Energy Works History

After a successful pilot program, in 2010 Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability helped create Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO), a non-profit organization that makes energy efficiency upgrades affordable and easy. CEWO bundles multiple upgrades, expert contractors, and low-cost financing into a single home energy remodel.

The private and public sector have joined together as never before with a community improvement program responsible to a triple bottom line of benefits which include:

  • Financial – provides capital for thousands of homeowners in Oregon.
  • Social – creates family sustaining jobs in our local area.
  • Environmental – reduces e nergy waste and carbon pollution in our communities.

Visit www.CEWO.org for latest application information.

About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

To create and enhance a vibrant city, BPS combines the disciplines of planning and sustainability to advance Portland's diverse and distinct neighborhoods, promote a prosperous and low-carbon economy, and help ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape. BPS provides a forum for community engagement and education, and is a catalyst for action. With a city full of partners, BPS develops creative and practical solutions on issues as far ranging as comprehensive, neighborhood and environmental planning, urban design, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency and solar technologies. This innovative, interdisciplinary approach strengthens Portland's position as an international model of sustainable development practices and commerce. www.portlandonline.com/bps

About the National League of Cities

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org

 

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