Cities Recognized as Leader in Renewable Energy Use

Wind power has propelled the cities of Dallas and Houston onto the Environmental Protection Agency's national list of top green power purchasers.

Dallas took the No. 9 spot on the National Top 25 list of Green Power Partners by buying 40 percent of its power from wind sources. Houston grabbed the No. 12 spot by using wind power for 20 percent of its purchased-electricity needs.

"Texas leads the nation in wind power production, and Dallas and Houston are leading the way in showing other cities how green power can help protect the environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Richard Greene. "By shifting to wind and other renewable power sources, cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions and change the way we generate energy."

EPA's Green Power Partnership works with more than 850 partner organizations to buy green power voluntarily as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use and to support the development of new, renewable generation resources nationwide. Overall, EPA Green Power Partners are buying more than 13 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually. The National Top 25 list represents more than 60 percent of the green power commitments made by all EPA Green Power Partners.

Dallas and Houston purchased more than 333 million kWh and 262 million kWh of green power respectively, earning them first-time recognition on the National Top 25 list, as well as the Top 10 Local Government list. The aggregate environmental impact of these two purchases is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 84,000 passenger vehicles annually, or the same amount of electricity needed to power an estimated 61,000 average American homes each year.

"The City of Dallas understands that each of us — every individual, every business, every government must act to protect our environment. And this city knows it must lead by example, and the best way to do that is with our purchasing clout. Clearly, this ranking demonstrates on a national level that our commitment is solid, and I am confident we will continue to be a leader on a local and national level, because it's the right thing to do for our future," said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and biogas, as well as low-impact hydropower. These renewable resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies and produce no net increase to greenhouse gas emissions.

"Purchasing green power helps our city become more sustainable and cost-effective, while also sending a message that supporting clean sources of electricity is both a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing harmful emissions," said Houston Mayor Bill White.

The City of Austin and the Austin Independent School District were also recognized by EPA on its Top 10 Local Government list, with No. 5 and No. 7 rankings respectively.

In addition to recognizing the top green power purchasers, EPA also announced the results of its 2007 Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge, which included nine Texas-based corporate partners. Corporations such as Whole Foods Market, FedEx Kinko's, Advanced Micro Devices/Austin, Texas Facilities, and Dell Inc. participated. The Fortune 500 challenge was a 13-month campaign that encouraged America's largest corporations to collectively purchase green power in excess of five billion kilowatt-hours per year. Challenge participants pushed EPA to surpass its goal by more than 130 percent.

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