Dear Santa Clara Green Power member:
May is bike month – featuring the pinnacle event of Bike to Work Day on Thursday May 14. We hope that you will all consider participating in this event. To make bike month a bit easier, the greenest bike shops in town are honoring Santa Clara Green Power members by offering special promotions. There are three bicycle shops in Santa Clara that are members of Santa Clara Green Power:
See the column on the right for special discounts from two of these vendors. Enjoy your bike ride!
You Helped Put Santa Clara Green Power in the Top 1% in the Nation
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, more than 850 utilities across the United States now offer green power programs. Green power sales in 2008 increased by about 20 percent over 2007, and they represent more than 5 percent of total electricity sales for some of the most popular programs. Wind is the primary source of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide.
“Despite the economic downturn, utility green power sales continued to expand nationally last year,” said NREL senior energy analyst Lori Bird. “These utilities are the national leaders.”
Using information provided by utilities, NREL developed “Top 10” rankings of utility programs for 2008 and we are proud that Santa Clara Green Power ranked #5 of 850 programs in the nation in terms of customer participation rate. That puts us in the top 1% of all utility green pricing programs in the U.S.
Increasing Solar Content, Expanding Geography Sourcing
Santa Clara Green Power has been sourced exclusively from 97.5% wind and 2.5% solar – all from California resources -- since the program’s inception several years ago. Your demand for green power is really making a difference in California's renewable energy landscape. We are now pleased to report that we will be increasing the program’s solar content to 5%, and transitioning to wind supply from the broader western region. The increase in solar content makes Santa Clara Green Power one of the nation’s most solar-supporting green power programs. The transition to western regional wind is in response to the tremendous push by all California utilities to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) obligation. This state law has been a boon for renewables in California, and SVP is pleased to report that as a utility
we have gone well beyond the 20% RPS requirement. Santa Clara Green Power purchases are additional to our RPS requirement. In order to keep Santa Clara Green Power prices low (lower than the national average), and in order to help support markets outside of California where there is less demand for renewables, we have decided to support wind farms within our grid region that are outside of California. Each year we will report to you specific information about the facilities served by Santa Clara Green Power.
The Accolades Keep Coming!
Silicon Valley Power/Santa Clara Green Power was selected to receive a 2009 Business Environmental Award in the category of Susanne Wilson Award for Pollution Prevention/Resource Conservation Special Project. The award is given by Acterra, a local environmental education and action nonprofit, as part of its annual Business Environmental Awards.
Silicon Valley Power’s exemplary achievements in the five award criteria (Leadership, Significant Environmental Benefits, Potential Model for Business Community, Demonstrated Program Commitment, and Collaborative Effort) earned it the necessary distinction from within an exceptionally competitive field. The judges were impressed by Silicon Valley Power’s well enrolled renewable energy program which is helping its customers reduce their carbon footprint.
According to Christine Kohl-Zaugg, Business Environmental Awards Judging Team Captain ," The judges were particularly impressed by the high enrollment rate, low cost premium and tiered volume pricing, quality assurance provided by independent, third-party verification, strong program support from city officials, and demonstrated commitment to educating the community, local businesses and other utilities interested in developing renewable energy programs.”
Bill Wilson Center to Receive Solar Electric System from SVP
You may be familiar with the Bill Wilson Center for its 35 year history of support for the community by serving youth and families through counseling, housing, education, and advocacy. What you may not know is that the Bill Wilson Center has been selected by participants of Silicon Valley Power's Neighborhood Solar Program to receive a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Thanks to participants in SVP’s Neighborhood Solar Program, along with you and other Santa Clara Green Power participants, SVP is installing its third local PV system. The previous systems were installed at Haman Elementary School and Valley Village Retirement Community.
SCU tops conference for EPA Green Power Partnership
Santa Clara University was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2008-09 Individual Conference Champion for purchasing more green power than any other school in the West Coast Conference. SCU beat its conference rivals by purchasing more than 11 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power, representing 37 percent of the school's annual electricity usage. That's enough to power more than 1,100 average American homes each year. It's also the equivalent impact of reducing the CO2 emissions of nearly 1,500 passenger cars annually.
"We have made great strides to reduce our energy demand via conservation and retrofits, and supporting renewable energy generation is a great way to help us reach climate neutrality," said Lindsey Cromwell, SCU's sustainability coordinator. For more information please click here.
New Participant Profile: Silicon Valley Bank
Why does the money seem a little greener at Silicon Valley Bank? Perhaps because they are the latest business customer of Santa Clara Green Power. For 25 years, Silicon Valley Bank has been dedicated to providing global financial services to some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial companies in the technology, life science, private equity and premium wine industries. This year Silicon Valley Bank has committed to purchase 31,000 kilowatt hours per month, which makes them eligible for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. Their purchase will avoid an estimated 402,883 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 33.5 passenger vehicles each year.
Ride Your Bike!
To thank you for your support of renewable energy, these bike shops are providing a promotional offer during the month of May. Please print this page and bring it with you to receive the offer:
CO2 Emissions on Google Earth
- Calmar Bicycles is offering a free standard tube with $10 purchase
- La Dolce Velo is offering 10% off regular priced items
Ever wondered what the carbon dioxide emissions are for the aircraft, residential, or transportations sectors in Santa Clara County? Did you want that in Google Earth? Well, a group of scientists led by Purdue University have done just that. Check out this article on the project.