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

April 21, 2004

EPA to Buy Renewable Energy Credits for Multiple Facilities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to buy renewable energy credits for a number of its facilities in the District of Columbia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nevada. Over the next three years, the EPA plans to buy renewable energy credits equal to nearly 78 million kilowatt-hours of power generation, including more than 54 million kilowatt-hours for its Washington, D.C., facilities; nearly 14 million kilowatt-hours for its Las Vegas, Nevada, facilities; more than 7 million kilowatt-hours for its facilities in Duluth, Minnesota; and more than 2 million kilowatt-hours for its facilities in Grosse Isle, Michigan. The solicitation was announced by the Defense Energy Support Center on April 8th; proposals are due on May 17th. See the solicitation.

The solicitation follows a similar one issued earlier this year, which requested 12.45 million kilowatt-hours over three years for the EPA's Athens Regional Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, and another 21 million kilowatt-hours over three years for the EPA Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia. According to DOE's Green Power Network, those contracts were awarded in March to 3 Phases Energy, which is producing the power from landfill gas projects in Kentucky and North Carolina. As of that procurement, the EPA was reportedly buying about 122.5 million kilowatt-hours of green power products for its facilities each year, accounting for more than 44 percent of EPA's electricity use. If the new procurement goes through as planned, that percentage will increase to about 53 percent. See the Georgia solicitation and the Green Power Network news item.

Tradable renewable energy credits—also called "green tags"—represent the environmental attributes of renewable power. Typically, renewable energy producers will sell renewable energy credits when they wish to sell their power into the commodity electricity markets. Groups or individuals that buy the credits can then claim that they have offset their energy use by purchasing renewable energy. For more information, see the Green-e Web site.