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NREL highlights 2010 utility green power leaders

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 10:20am

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released its annual assessment of leading utility green power programs. Under these voluntary programs, consumers can choose to help support additional electricity production from renewable resources such as wind and solar.

Green power sales from utility programs exceeded 6 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2010. Wind energy now represents more than three-fourths of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide.

Using information provided by utilities, NREL has developed "Top 10" rankings of utility green power programs for 2010 in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, the percentage of customer participation, green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales, and the lowest price premium charged for a green power program using new renewable resources. According to NREL, more than 850 utilities across the United States offer green power programs.

Ranked by renewable energy sales (kWh/year), Austin Energy in Austin, Texas sold the largest amount of renewable energy in the nation through its voluntary green power program. Rounding out the top five are Portland General Electric (Oregon), PacifiCorp (Oregon and five other states), the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (California), and Xcel Energy (Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Mexico).

Ranked by the percentage of customer participation, the top utilities are City of Palo Alto Utilities (California), with more than 20 percent of its customers participating in its green power program, followed by Portland General Electric, Farmers Electric Cooperative of Kalona (Iowa), Madison Gas and Electric Company (Wisconsin), and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. (See attached tables for additional rankings).

"Participating in utility green power programs is one way that consumers can support renewable energy development. These utilities are the national leaders," said NREL senior analyst Lori Bird.

Utility green pricing programs are one segment of a larger green power marketing industry that counts approximately 1.5 million customers, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and colleges and universities among its customers, and helps support more than 9,000 megawatts of renewable electricity generation capacity.

NREL has also found that more utilities are developing community solar programs, an innovative program design that enables consumers to support local projects. Community solar programs allow customers to purchase a share of a solar system developed in their community and receive the benefits of the energy that is produced by their share. Typically, consumers will pay an upfront cost per watt of solar, and then receive a credit on their bill for the kilowatt-hours that their purchase generated.

"Utilities and third-parties are increasingly developing community solar programs as one way to support local renewable energy development," said NREL analyst Jenny Sumner. "Customers can invest in solar through community solar programs even if they are renters or own homes with shaded roofs."

More information on community solar efforts can be found at http://greenpower.energy.gov.

The Green Power assessment was performed by NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC), which integrates technical and economic analyses and leads NREL's efforts in applying clean energy technologies to both national and international markets.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Rank Utility Resources Used Sales (kWh/year) Sales (aMW)a
1 Austin Energyb Wind, landfill gas 754,203,479 86.1
2 Portland General Electricc Wind, biomass, geothermal 735,745,202 84.0
3 PacifiCorpbde Wind, biomass, landfill gas, solar 587,373,391 67.1
4 Sacramento Municipal Utility Districtc Wind, hydro, biomass, solar 395,537,564 45.2
5 Xcel Energycf Wind, solar 388,837,429 44.4
6 Puget Sound Energycg Wind, landfill gas, biomass, small hydro, solar 314,892,507 35.9
7 Connecticut Light and Power/ United Illuminating Wind, hydro 229,408,999 26.2
8 CPS Energyh Wind 186,880,675 21.3
9 National Gridi Biomass, wind, small hydro, solar 167,149,902 19.1
10 We Energiesc Wind, landfill gas, solar 164,546,605 18.8

a An "average megawatt" (aMW) is a measure of continuous capacity equivalent (i.e. operating at a 100% capacity factor).

b Product is Green-e Energy (www.green-e.org) certified.

c Marketed in partnership with Green Mountain Energy Company.

d Some Oregon products marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

e Includes Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power.

f Includes Northern States Power, Public Service Company of Colorado and Southwestern Public Service.

g Residential product marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

h Data period: February 2010 thru January 2011.

i Includes Niagara Mohawk, Massachusetts Electric, Narragansett Electric, and Nantucket Electric.

Rank Utility Program(s) Participants
1 Portland General Electrica Clean Wind, Green Source, Renewable Future 77,907
2 PacifiCorpbc Blue Sky Blockd, Blue Sky Usaged, Blue Sky Habitatd 76,322
3 Xcel Energye WindSourced, Renewable Energy Trust 66,401
4 Sacramento Municipal Utility District Greenergyd 51,498
5 PECOf PECO WIND 32,629
6 Puget Sound Energyg Green Power Programd 29,398
7 Connecticut Light and Power/ United Illuminating CTCleanEnergyOptions 24,283
8 Iberdrola USA: NYSEG and RG&Ef Catch the Wind 23,011
9 We Energies Energy for Tomorrowd 22,306
10 National Gridh GreenUp 21,475

a Marketed in partnership with Green Mountain Energy Company.

b Includes Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power.

c Some Oregon products marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

d Product is Green-e Energy certified.

e Includes Northern States Power, Public Service Company of Colorado and Southwestern Public Service.

f Marketed in partnership with Community Energy Inc.

g Residential product marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

h Includes Niagara Mohawk, Massachusetts Electric, Narragansett Electric, and Nantucket Electric.

Rank Utility Program(s) % of Load
1 Waterloo Utilitiesa Renewable Energy Programb 22.6%
2 Edmond Electricc Pure and Simple 9.9%
3 Portland General Electricd Clean Wind, Green Source, Renewable Future 8.1%
4 City of Palo Alto Utilitiese Palo Alto Greenb 7.4%
5 River Falls Municipal Utilities Renewable Energy Programa 7.2%
6 Austin Energy Green Choiceb 6.3%
7 Madison Gas and Electric Green Power Tomorrow 4.5%
8 Pacific Power — Oregon Onlyf Blue Sky Blockb, Blue Sky Usageb, Blue Sky Habitatb 4.3%
9 Sacramento Municipal Utility District Greenergyb 3.9%
10 Park Electric Cooperativeg Green Power Program 3.4%

a Power supplied by WPPI Energy.

b Product is Green-e Energy certified.

c Power supplied by Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

d Marketed in partnership with Green Mountain Energy Company.

e Marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

f Some Oregon products marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

g Power supplied by Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

Rank Utility Resources Used Premium (¢/kWh)
1 Indianapolis Power & Light Companya Wind 0.14
2 Edmond Electricbc Wind 0.27
3 Avista Utilities Wind, landfill gas, hydro 0.33
4 City of Onawa Wind 0.40
5 Flathead Electric Cooperatived Wind 0.50
5 Moorhead Public Service Wind 0.50
5 Sacramento Municipal Utility Districta Wind, hydro, biomass, solar 0.50
8 OG&E Electric Servicese Wind 0.72
9 Emerald People's Utility District Landfill gas, wind, biomass 0.80
10 Xcel Energy (Minnesota only)ac Wind 0.84

a Product is Green-e Energy certified.

b Power supplied by Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

c Premium is variable; customers in these programs are exempt or otherwise protected from changes in utility fuel charges.

d Power is supplied by Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

e 0.72¢/kWh represents the average price premium paid. The premium varies from .7 ¢/kWh to .9 ¢/kWh, based on purchase quantities.

Rank Utility Program(s) Customer Participation Rate Program Start Year
1 City of Palo Alto Utilitiesa Palo Alto Greenb 21.5% 2003
2 Portland General Electricc Clean Wind, Green Source, Renewable Future 12.6% 2002
3 Farmers Electric Cooperative of Kalona Green Power Project 11.2% 2009
4 Madison Gas and Electric Green Power Tomorrow 9.0% 1999
5 Sacramento Municipal Utility District Greenergyb 8.7% 1997
6 City of Naperville, ILd Renewable Energy Program 8.0% 2005
7 Silicon Valley Powera Santa Clara Green Powerb 7.8% 2004
8 Pacific Power — Oregon Onlyf Blue Sky Blockb, Blue Sky Usageb, Blue Sky Habitatb 6.9% 2000g
9 River Falls Municipal Utilitiese Renewable Energy Programb 6.4% 2001
10 Lake Mills Light & Watere Renewable Energy Programb 5.3% 2001

a Marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

b Product is Green-e Energy certified.

c Marketed in partnership with Green Mountain Energy Company.

d Marketed in partnership with Community Energy Inc.

e Power supplied by WPPI Energy.

f Some products marketed in partnership with 3Degrees Group Inc.

g Blue Sky Habitat & Blue Sky Usage programs began in 2002.

Utility/Provider Program Program Size (kW) Program Start
Ashland, Oregon Solar Pioneers II 63 2008
Bainbridge Island, Washington Solar for Sakai 5 2009
Ellensburg, Washington Community Solar Project 27 2006
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Simple Solar 117 2008
Holy Cross Energy/Clean Energy Collective Mid Valley Solar Array 80 2010
Sacramento Municipal Utility District SolarShares 1,000 2008
St. George, Utah SunSmart 250 2009
United Power Sol Partners Cooperative Solar Farm 10 2009

More information on community solar programs

SOURCE

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