The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its list of Top 50 organizations using green energy like solar and wind and it’s experienced a power surge. Intel continued to top the list by using 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of green energy annually—it has since 2008. But for the first time all top 50, including companies, municipalities, government agencies and other organizations, each used more than 100 million kilowatt hours of green energy.
“The top partner rankings aren't weighted by type of green power used. The Top 50 list and other sector-specific lists (Top 20 Retail, Top 20 Colleges & Universities, etc) are ranked by kilowatt hours of green power used by each partner,” a spokesperson for the EPA said. Hence, while other organizations actually purchase 100 percent of their power from green sources, Intel, which sources 88 percent of its power from green energy, including solar, biomass, geothermal, wind and small-hydro, topped the list.
Some high-ranking newcomers were added to the list this year as well. Microsoft joined the list in the third spot and McDonald’s joined in the eleventh spot of the top 50.
The EPA also tracks companies that source 100 percent of their electricity from green sources and which use the most on-site generation—usually solar, according to the spokesperson. Kohl’s Department Stores sourced all of its electricity, more than 1.5 billion kilowatt hours from wind and solar, topping the list of green power partners getting all their electricity from renewables (It was second in the Top 50 list, behind Intel).
In terms of on-site generation Kimberly-Clark was first, sourcing 193.3 million kilowatt hours from on-site biomass. Walmart Stores, which sourced 114.9 million kilowatt hours from on-site wind, solar and biogas was second. Since EPA began tracking on-site generation in 2007 the number of organizations voluntarily participating has grown from 77 partners to 196 partners, the spokesperson said. “This only counts Partners who are keeping the renewable energy certificates from on-site systems, and although we cannot pull out the on-site solar, the majority of on-site Is usually solar. Some of the Partners have multiple on-site systems, but we counted each Partner only once.”
The EPA found that 174 organizations are using on-site solar and a total of 264 participating organizations are using solar. And more than 700 participating organizations are now sourcing 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources, according to the EPA.