PORTLAND, Ore. , March 5, 2004 — PacifiCorp ranks among the nation’s top five companies for renewable energy sales and customer participation in green pricing programs. The 2003 Top 10 rankings were released today by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington, California and Wyoming, and as Utah Power in Utah and Idaho. The company ranked fourth in the nation for renewable energy sales with 15.1 average megawatts *, compared to 6.3 last year. PacifiCorp also ranked fifth in the nation for the number of customers enrolled in its Blue Sky renewable power program. At year’s end, 23,351 customers were enrolled in company’s service area.
According to NREL, more than 500 utilities in 33 states now offer green pricing programs. Green pricing is a special electricity rate option that consumers can choose to help support additional electrical production from renewable resources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal.
“The number of utility green pricing programs continues to grow across the country as well as the number of customers who purchase green power,” said Lori Bird, senior energy analyst at NREL. “Customer choice is proving to be a powerful stimulus for growth in renewable energy development.”
Green pricing programs, such as PacifiCorp’s Blue Sky, allow customers to help spur renewable power development and bring cleaner energy online. Renewable energy has a much lower environmental impact than traditional methods of electricity generation. Renewables produce lower levels of air pollutants, wastewater, smog and acid rain, and can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Working with environmental advocates, local governments, businesses and thousands of residential customers, we’ve found that renewable energy is not only good for the environment, it’s good business,” said PacifiCorp’s President and CEO Judi Johansen.
Johansen explained that renewable power improves the reliability and security of the company’s energy supply. By obtaining electricity generated from diverse sources ¾ hydro, coal, natural gas, wind, geothermal and solar – the company doesn’t rely too heavily upon any one energy source. In addition, the more energy that comes from renewable resources, the less that is needed from fossil fuel and hydroelectric generating plants.
PacifiCorp’s Blue Sky program gives customers the flexibility to purchase fixed increments (blocks) of new wind power. All the electricity used is billed at the Basic Service rate, and each 100-kwh block of pollution-free wind power costs an additional $1.95. Payments go directly toward the purchase of wind power from newly developed wind farms.
“PacifiCorp offers its customers some of the highest-quality green power options in the nation,” said Diane Zipper, director of green power programs at Renewable Northwest Project. RNP is a regional nonprofit organization promoting wind, solar and geothermal resources in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. “As more people become aware of these offerings, we hope they will express their support for clean energy by signing up.”
As coordinator of the Utah Wind Campaign, Sarah Wright also has been working to heighten interest in renewable power, including challenging entire communities to sign up. The Utah Wind Campaign is a nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
“The growth of the program and the clean energy ethic in Utah has been phenomenal,” Wright said. “The friendly competition created by the Blue Sky Community Challenges in Moab and Park City is educating the public about sustainable energy solutions and helping to drive the success of the Blue Sky program.”
Last month, PacifiCorp drew national attention for releasing a request for proposals to add 1,100 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy within the next seven years. The move is seen by many as a significant boost to renewable power development efforts in the region. In PacifiCorp’s Integrated Resource Plan, published last year, the company outlined its plans to add 1,400 MW of renewables within the next 10 years to serve its growing customer base.
Last December, PacifiCorp began purchasing renewable power from the new Eurus Combine Hills wind farm near Milton-Freewater, Ore. In partnership with the Energy Trust of Oregon and Eurus Energy America, the facility is bringing 41 MW of clean, renewable wind power into the region. In addition, PacifiCorp buys wind power from two other wind farms: the Wyoming Wind Energy Project and Rock River I in Wyoming.
Customers who want to sign up for a renewable power option can call Pacific Power at
1-800-769-3717 or visit www.pacificpower.net. Utah Power customers can call 1-800-842-8358 or visit www.utahpower.net.
Media inquiries: email@example.com