The city of Las Vegas, Nevada announced today that it has received a 2014 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA presented Las Vegas with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2014 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Sacramento, California on December 3, 2014.
Las Vegas was one of only two organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for the on-site generation of green power. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves using on-site renewable energy applications, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) or landfill gas. Las Vegas is currently generating nearly 7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually from a solar energy system, which is enough green power to meet 6 percent of the organization’s electricity use.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “Using green power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the United States that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in addressing climate change.”
Las Vegas currently ranks No. 25 on EPA’s Top 30 On-site Generation list, which highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have achieved the highest annual on-site green power generation through September 23, 2014. EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power accelerates the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
According to the EPA, Las Vegas' current green power use of nearly 7 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 1,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 600 average American homes annually.
Since 2009, the city of Las Vegas’ Sustainable Energy Strategy has consistently led regional activities in solar energy production and was named Renewable Project of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers in 2013. Currently, the city of Las Vegas has more than 6 MW of solar power generation capacity in operation across municipal facilities. Smaller projects, including net-metered installations of rooftop solar at more than 30 city facilities, help offset, on average, 30 percent of a facility's annual energy costs. The city has also taken on larger projects, including the installation of 3.3 MW of solar panels at its wastewater treatment facility, the largest project of its type in the region. This facility uses approximately 120,000 kWh per day to process more than 75 million gallons of water and represents about 1/3 of the city’s total energy costs. With the addition of this new installation, which features single-axis tracking, green power offsets about 20 percent of the plant's energy use and receives Portfolio Energy Credits certified by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. The city is committed to reinvesting 100 percent of the savings from solar projects into further renewable energy and conservation projects. Altogether, these solar installations move the city closer to its the goal of making it a net-zero energy city by 2020, which is being accomplished by reaching benchmarks such as installing 7 MW of green power by 2015.
About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations collectively purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
About the Green Power Leadership Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year; Sustained Excellence in Green Power; On-site Generation; Green Power Purchasing; Green Power Community of the Year; and Green Power Supplier of the Year. EPA’s Green Power Partner awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. EPA’s Green Power Supplier awards recognize green power suppliers for outstanding efforts, initiatives and programs that significantly advance the development of green power sources serving the voluntary market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/.
For more informtion, please visit the City of Las Vegas website.