This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 16, 2002

Two Washington State Organizations Buy 10 Percent Green Power

With a large and growing wind power capacity in the Pacific Northwest, a number of organizations are signing up to buy wind power, including DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The laboratory is buying 8.8 million kilowatt-hours of wind-generated electricity this fiscal year—enough to meet 10 percent of PNNL's energy needs. PNNL's purchase of wind power from the 263-megawatt Stateline Wind Power Project will increase the laboratory's total use of renewable energy to 13.7 percent of its energy use. See the PNNL press release.

The Clark County government in southwest Washington State is also buying 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Clark Public Utilities announced in late September that the county government has become its largest purchaser of green power, buying 120,600 kilowatt-hours each month through the utility's "Green Lights" program. See the Clark Public Utilities press release and the Green Lights program Web page.

Green power purchases in the Pacific Northwest have more than tripled since last year. A report released last month by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) found that the region's retail electricity customers are now buying enough green power to equal the annual output of more than 56 megawatts of wind turbines. See the RNP report.

And there's plenty of room for more: according to a recent report from the RAND Corporation, the Pacific Northwest could use renewable energy and energy efficiency to replace 20 percent of the projected growth in natural gas power plants over the next 20 years, with minimal impacts on the region's economy. The RAND report accounts for the availability of intermittent resources like the sun and wind, concluding that 1,000 megawatts of new solar capacity and more than 2,200 megawatts of new wind capacity could be built in the region. Combined with energy efficiency improvements, the diversified energy portfolio causes only a 0.5 percent decrease in the region's gross product over the 20-year period. See the RAND report.