Intel Corporation said today it will purchase more than 1.3 billion kilowatt hours a year of renewable energy certificates as part of a multi-faceted approach to reduce its impact on the environment, making Intel the single-largest corporate purchaser of green power in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company said it hoped the record-setting purchase would help stimulate the market for green power, which should lead to additional generating capacity and ultimately, lower costs.
The purchase placed Intel at the top of EPA's latest Green Power Partners Top 25 list, and also at the No. 1 spot on EPA's Fortune 500 Green Power Partners list. The EPA's Green Power Partnership program encourages and recognizes voluntary green power purchases as a way to reduce the impact of conventional electricity use.
"EPA applauds our Fortune 500 partners for protecting our environment by purchasing green power," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By voluntarily shifting to renewable energy, Intel is proving you don't need to wait for a signal in order to go green."
"We have a long history of commitment to the environment and energy efficiency is an important consideration in everything we do, from building transistors to designing microprocessors and running our factories," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini, who is also a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a global group of leaders working to achieve an effective global climate treaty at next year's UN Environmental Summit in Copenhagen. "Our renewable purchase is just one part of a multi-faceted approach to protect the environment, and one that we hope spurs additional development and demand for renewable energy."
Renewable energy certificates, or RECs, are the "currency" of the renewable energy market and are widely recognized as a having credible and tangible environmental benefits. The EPA estimates that Intel's REC purchase has the equivalent environmental impact of taking more than 185,000 passenger cars off the road each year, or avoiding the amount of electricity needed to power more than 130,000 average American homes annually.
Intel's REC purchase, which includes a portfolio of wind, solar, small hydro-electric and biomass sources, will be handled by Sterling Planet, a leading national supplier of renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon solutions. The purchase will be certified by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e® program which certifies and verifies green power products.
"Intel's outstanding commitment to renewable energy provides significant support for market-based mechanisms for renewable energy technologies of all types," said Mel Jones, Sterling Planet president and CEO. "We commend Intel for their vision and leadership in all aspects of corporate responsibility. Intel's support for renewable energy technologies echoes its mission to deliver advancements that become essential to the way we work and live."
Intel and EPA have worked together for several years on a variety of fronts, from Energy Star® to Climate Leader and Performance Track programs, to broad industry efforts such as the Climate Savers® Computing Initiative. The Agency recently recognized Intel with a 2007 Water Efficiency Leader award for its efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle water in its Chandler, Ariz. manufacturing facility. Intel was also recognized by the EPA as the most commute-friendly employer in the nation in 2006.
In addition to promoting and funding ideas for greater energy efficiency in its facilities, Intel has consistently specified high-energy-efficiency equipment in its manufacturing facilities with a view to ensuring greater energy efficiency and environmental benefit. Over the last 7 years, the company invested over $20 million in more than 250 energy conservation projects that saved in excess of 500 million kilowatt hours, enough energy to power about 50,000 U.S. homes.