How to Support Renewable Energy in the U.S.
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by Kevin Maddaford on 07/31/2009
Renewable Choice and our customers supported clean energy projects across the country in 2008.
Renewable energy credits (RECs) provide one of the best mechanisms for individuals, companies and governments to support the development of renewable energy projects in the United States. RECs are produced when a renewable energy facility generates electricity; when you purchase RECs in the same quantity as your electricity consumption, you guarantee that the energy you use is being replaced back onto the power grid from a clean, renewable source. This helps to reduce the environmental impact of your electricity usage and increase the amount of renewable energy in our nation's electricity mix.
In 2008, Renewable Choice Energy added a slew of projects from across the U.S. to our American Wind and Clean Source portfolios. Our residential and business customers purchased RECs supporting 54 renewable energy projects in 20 states and one Canadian province. A few of the new projects include:
• The South Fork Hydroelectric facility in Klawock, Alaska. This project was constructed to reduce the use of diesel generators in providing electricity for the communities of Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. It is a 2 megawatt (MW) run-of-the-river power plant that was built with grant/loan assistance from the Denali Commission and the Alaska Energy Authority, and it supplements electricity generated by the Bear Lake Hydro Project.
• The Nine Canyon Wind Project in Kennewick, Washington. 63 turbines situated on an active dry-land wheat farm take up less that 1% of the leased land and have a capacity of 63.7 MW. This environmentally friendly project, one of the largest public power wind farms in the country, received a letter of support from the Lower Columbia Basin Chapter of the Audubon Society. It provides electricity to ten different counties in the region.
• The Finley Buttes Landfill Gas Power Plant in Boardman, Oregon. This project captures methane, a greenhouse gas and a byproduct of decomposing garbage at the 510-acre Finely Buttes Landfill, and combusts it in two 1,600 kilowatt Caterpillar engines to generate electricity for about 3,200 homes. Waste heat from the process is also used by a nearby manufacturing plant for industrial use.
You can see where the projects are located and learn more about them on our Renewable Energy and Carbon Offset Projects page and see some of the great offset products you can purchase to further support these projects:
It's great to see so many projects being supported by our customers. In order to increase the amount of renewable energy in our electricity mix, we will have to utilize the resources available to us across the country, and RECs are playing an important role in helping these projects come online. Thanks to all our customers for your help-this couldn't happen without you! ~Kevin
Kevin Maddaford is the Consumer Services Manager and Resource Development Associate at Renewable Choice Energy.