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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented its 13th annual Green Power Leadership Awards to 21 Green Power Partners and three suppliers for their achievements in advancing the nation's renewable electricity market.

The EPA defines green power as electricity that is generated from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydroelectric sources and produces no fossil-fuel-based carbon pollution. The agency says the winning organizations are recognized for dramatically increasing their green power purchases, installing large-scale solar panel arrays, and leading innovative renewable energy procurement efforts, among other actions.

The 2013 Green Power Leadership Award winners are listed below in the following categories:

Sustained Excellence in Green Power: Intel Corp. (Santa Clara); Kohl's Department Stores (Menomonee Falls, Wis.); and Staples (Framingham, Mass.).

Green Power Partners of the Year: Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose, Calif.); Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.); Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, Wash.); and Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio).

Green Power Communities of the Year: Cincinnati, Ohio; and Mercer Island, Wash.

Green Power Purchasing: Accredo Packaging Inc. (Sugar Land, Texas); Dell Inc.(Round Rock, Texas); Pearson (Upper Saddle River, N.J.); Powdr (Park City, Utah), The North Face (Alameda, Calif.); U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, D.C.); UW Credit Union (Madison, Wis.); and Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

On-site Generation: Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.); County of Santa Clara, Calif.; Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, Calif.); and Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC (Chattanooga, Tenn.).

Green Power Suppliers of the Year: 3Degrees (San Francisco); Dominion Virginia Power (Richmond, Va.); and Sterling Planet (Atlanta). Utilities, renewable energy project developers, and other green power suppliers were eligible to apply for the Supplier of the Year Award, which recognizes leadership in voluntary renewable energy offerings.

The EPA also announced the winners of the third annual Green Power Community Challenge, a national competition between communities to use renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the collective participation of local governments, businesses and residents.

Out of 48 competing communities, Washington, D.C., won the challenge for a third year in a row for using the most green power annually with more than 1 kWh. Oak Park, Ill., also won the challenge for a second consecutive year for achieving the highest green power percentage of total electricity use at 92%.

The EPA, through the Green Power Partnership, works with partner organizations to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Nearly two-thirds of partners use 100% green power. All together, the EPA says the partners are voluntarily using more than 28 billion kWh of green power annually.






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