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September 30, 2003
Dow, GM, and Johnson & Johnson Lead the Charge to Green Power
    by William Baue

The 12 members of the Green Power Market Development Group have purchased almost 100 megawatts of green power from renewable resources since last summer.


Since June 2002, members of the Green Power Market Development Group have sourced 97 megawatts (MW) of "green power," or energy from renewable resources. The group, along with the World Resources Institute, the independent environmental think tank that helped found it in 2000, made this announcement earlier this month. The 97 megawatts equals the amount of energy it takes to power about 73,000 homes per year and will prevent 960 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being emitted into the environment annually, according to the group. The group's 12 members include Alcoa (ticker: AA), Dow (DOW), DuPont (DD), General Motors (GM), IBM (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Pitney Bowes (PBI), and Staples (SPLS), among others

" From hydrogen fuel cells to solar panels on rooftops, new green power products are emerging for corporate markets," said Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute. " These purchases help bring down prices, reduce pollution, and build a robust market to deliver a clean energy future."

The lion's share of the green power (36 MW) comes from purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs), which represent the amount of pollution avoided when electricity is generated from renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. Nine of the twelve member companies are purchasing RECs. For example, this year Pitney Bowes started purchasing ten percent of the company's energy needs for its US and UK office and manufacturing locations in the form of RECs for electricity from wind and landfill gas.

Instead of promising to deliver power generated by renewable resources directly to the purchaser, which would be difficult to track on the electrical grid to say the least, RECs represent direct financial support for the delivery of renewable energy into the grid.

In addition to RECs, Green Power Market Development Group companies are directly supporting green electricity from wind power, solar, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, and certified low-impact hydro, as well as from fuel cells.

Last month, GM signed an agreement to use methane gas directly from a landfill near the company's Oklahoma City vehicle assembly plant to fuel its boilers. This project is the precursor to the introduction of the use of thermal energy from landfill gas at five of GM's US manufacturing plants.

GM is also selling to Dow 35 MW of hydrogen fuel cells, which represents the largest corporate fuel cell purchase in the world.

"We joined this partnership in 2003 to help us diversify our energy purchasing," said William Stavropoulos, Dow's president and chief executive officer.

Johnson & Johnson has committed to both wind and solar. The company purchases 11 MW of wind power in Texas and on the east coast, making it one of the largest corporate users of wind power in the US. In addition, it extensively uses rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The company installed a 500 kilowatts (kW) system at its Janssen Pharmaceutica building in Titusville, New Jersey, and added another 316 kW of solar PV panels to its Neutrogena facility in Los Angeles to bring the site's total capacity to 546 kW. Johnson & Johnson now has nearly 1.2 megawatts of on-site solar PV capacity across 3 states, making the company one of the nation's largest corporate users of this technology as well.

In all, renewable resources will help power 250 Green Power Market Development Group facilities across 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Even the WRI has committed to power its offices completely with green power through the purchase of RECs. WRI also convinced its building owner and property manager to three-quarters of the facility's annual electricity bills to RECs. WRI's goal is to have net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2005. The Green Power Group's goal is to create 1,000 MW of green power for corporate markets by 2010.

 

 
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