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Press Release
May 1, 2006

Corvallis Named West Coast’s First Green Power Community by Environmental Protection Agency

Corvallis, OR — Due to a strong, collaborative effort of residents, businesses and the city government, Corvallis today attained the distinction of being named the first Green Power Community on the West Coast by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“While other communities are beginning to buy green power to support clean, renewable sources of electricity, Corvallis is the first Northwest community to join the Green Power Partnership and purchase clean energy at a level high enough to meet the program’s requirements,” said Matt Clouse, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.
Clouse presented two colorful road signs to Corvallis City Council members today with the words, “Welcome to a Green Power Community – we exceed EPA guidelines for buying clean, renewable energy.” Corvallis is the first city on the West Coast to receive this designation, and only the third in the nation. Moab, Utah, and Boulder, Colo., are the other two.
At a gathering of Corvallis business leaders and citizens this afternoon, OregonGovernor Ted Kulongoski said, “Oregonians want a bright future with clear skies that is fueled by clean, renewable energy, and today we have the opportunity to honor the citizens of Corvallis who are leading not only the state, but the entire West Coast to make this vision a reality. With partners in the business community, state and local governments, the federal government, and individual citizens, Oregon can and will be a national leader in renewable energy use and production. Today represents another step in that direction.”
Congresswoman Darlene Hooley of Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District also attended, saying that working for cleaner air is one issue all Oregonians can agree upon. “Buying renewable power is something we can do together to support the growing wind power industry in our region and help reduce greenhouse gases,” Hooley said. “I’m so proud of Corvallis for achieving this EPA designation as a result of their efforts to foster sustainable energy solutions. Corvallis is always a leader in supporting innovative ideas to preserve our environment.”
Corvallis ranks first among Oregon cities for the percentage of customers supporting renewable energy through an optional renewable energy program – Pacific Power’s Blue Sky. There are 2,811 households and 93 businesses enrolled in the Blue Sky program, which accounts for nearly 12.5 percent of the company’s customer base in the Corvallis area. The city itself purchases 75,000 kilowatt-hours of Blue Sky wind energy each month.
“Good things happen when people come together to support renewable energy,” said Pacific Power President Stan Watters. “In addition to the renewable power we already provide our customers, Blue Sky helps even more renewable energy come online and supports local wind farm development. For example, we recently purchased 40,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy credits from the Nine Canyon Wind Project on the Oregon-Washington border on behalf of our Blue Sky customers.”
Green-powered organizations in Corvallis include an array of organizations that include Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett-Packard and FedEx Kinko’s, as well as small businesses such as Harrison House B&B and Riverside Window and Door. Participation also was boosted by citizens who want their power to come from clean, renewable sources.
Today, Corvallis residents and businesses buying renewable energy through Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program are helping create environmental benefits. Their purchases will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,718 tons, which has the benefit of taking 3,531 cars off the road or planting 337,364 trees every month.
“Last November, we issued a community-wide challenge to residents and businesses to sign up for Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable power and help reduce global warming,” said City Council President Charlie Tomlinson. “We’re pleased to see that we’re receiving national recognition for our efforts.”
“Eight years ago, just 24.5 megawatts of renewable energy served customers in the Pacific Northwest, and today there are more than 1,000 megawatts of clean energy generation,” said Diane Zipper, director of green power programs for Renewable Northwest, a nonprofit renewable energy advocacy group.
The future for renewables continues to be strong. Zipper said approximately 430 megawatts of new wind projects are under construction in Oregon and Washington. Throughout the region, approximately 1,450 additional megawatts have received building permits. “Customer support for green power programs definitely has helped bring some of these new projects online,” she said.
“While clean electricity sources are capable of supplying a large amount of the country’s electrical supply, today less than 2 percent comes from non-hydro renewable energy sources,” Clouse said. “A major component of EPA’s Green Power Partnership’s mission is to increase the amount of electricity produced from clean, renewable sources. To do this, we all need to work together to make it happen.”
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For more information contact:
Deston Nokes
(503) 813-7291
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