Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Austin Energy Excels as #1 Green Energy Electricity Utility in America

UPDATE: This is a list of the top ten green energy programs in the United States with the latest December 2005 figures and links to these electric utilities. One of the biggest differences we can make is to switch to "green energy" - energy generated from 100% renewable sources. Florida Power & Light is a new entry into the top ten at number four. The company recently announced the construction of the largest solar array in Florida on the site of a closed landfill in Sarasota. The 1,200 photovoltaic solar panels are each about 31 inches wide and 63 inches long. The facility is to be more than 28,000 square feet, or about half the size of a football field. "We sought a location that had a ground site large enough for 250 kilowatts of photovoltaic panels," said Jeff Bartel, FP&L VP of external affairs.

If you live in a part of the United States that is not served by an electric utility on this list please see this List of Green Energy Providers by State.

As our energy challenges are global I appreciate every assistance in compiling a similar list of renewable energy providers in other countries. Feel free to email or leave a comment.

Returning to the United States, Austin Energy has shown its commitment to renewable energy by topping the list. The U.S. Department of Energy said Austin Energy's Green Choice program sold more than 334 million hours of renewable energy last year.

More than 350 businesses in Austin get their power from renewable sources as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Austin Energy uses electricity from 61 West Texas wind turbines.

Here's the top ten green energy programs in the United States (as of December 2005).

1. Austin Energy -
areas served include Austin, Texas
green energy from Wind Power, Land Fill Gas, Small Hydro -
435 MWh/year

2. Portland General Electric (PGE) -
areas served include Portland, Oregon
green power from existing Geothermal, Wind Power, Small Hydro - 340 MWh/year

3. PacifiCorp - includes Pacific Power and Utah Power
areas served include:
Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, California, Utah, Idaho
green energy from Wind Power, Biomass, Solar Energy -
234 MWh/year

4. Florida Power & Light - green power from Biomass, Wind Power, Solar Energy - 225 MWh/year

5. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) -
green power from Landfill Gas, Wind Power, Small Hydro, Solar Energy - 195 MWh/year

6. Xcel Energy -
areas served include: Denver,Colorado; Elkhart, Kansas; Wakefield, Michigan; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Roswell, New Mexico; Fargo, North Dakota; Boise City, Idaho; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Amarillo, Texas; Eau Claire, Wisconsin
green electricity from Wind Power - 148 MWh/year

7. National Grid -
areas served include:
New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Nantucket
green power from Biomass, Wind Power, Small Hydro, Solar Energy - 128 MWh/year

8. Basin Electric Power Cooperative (SMUD) -
green power from Wind Power - 114 MWh/year

9. Puget Sound Energy (PSE)-
area served Washington state
green energy from Wind Power, Solar Energy, Biogas -
71 MWh/year

10. OG&E Electric Services -
area served Oklahoma
green electricity from Wind Power - 64 MWh/year

(source: NREL)

MWh/year = million kWh/year rounded down

List of Green Energy Providers by State

One of the single biggest ways we as individuals can encourage the use of alternative energy and help aid the transition to a post fossil fuel age is to buy electricity partly, or preferably completely, generated using alternative energy.

Switching your electricity utility provider may be as simple as requesting a form or filling one in online. That's exactly how I switched to 100% renewable energy (generated mainly from wind power with some solar power and small scale hydro thrown into the mix). Renewable energy options are available throughout the U.K. and in many other countries.

To find out if you can switch to renewable energy in your area look on your search engine of choice for "green energy", "green power" or "green electricity". You may also need to add your location to the search. If your local utility doesn't provide a renewable energy option yet, email or call them and ask why.

Original News 8 Austin Article

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