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 &
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.
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
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
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.
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.