Port continues support of wind energy through purchase of renewable energy certificates
Since 2008, the Port of Vancouver USA has been supporting wind energy through the voluntary purchase of certified renewable energy certificates (RECs). By purchasing RECs, the port is strengthening our commitment to environmental stewardship while encouraging renewable energy development and reducing our carbon footprint.
A green energy provider generates one REC for every 1,000 kWh of electricity it produces. When the electricity is fed into the grid, the REC is generated in a tracking system and issued a unique identification number to make sure it isn’t double-counted. The REC can then be sold and tracked on the open market.
For the last nine years, the port has purchased RECs produced by wind farms to match 100% of its estimated annual electricity usage for the buildings in which it controls the utilities. Since we began this program, we’ve purchased more than 64,000 RECs and supported generation that avoided the release of an estimated 44,579 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). In recognition of its green energy purchases, the port is certified as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.
The port purchased its 2019 RECs through a local nonprofit organization, Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). BEF reinvests profits from the sale of their products and services into their community-based programs which are focused on long-term watershed restoration and renewable energy education. According to their website, purchases made by BEF’s partners have collectively kept a combined total of more than 9.5 million metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere, generated more than 6 million-Megawatt-hours of clean energy, launched more than 250 renewable energy education projects across 20 states, restored 13.5 billion gallons of water to critically dewatered rivers and streams, and have supported the revitalization of 20 river ecosystems in 7 western states and Mexico.
The port’s REC purchases support a sustainable future by backing wind energy projects in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. Many wind components are shipped through the Port of Vancouver for wind projects in North America.
The 5,688 RECs the port purchased in 2019 supported generation that avoided more than 4,585 metric tons, or more that 10 million pounds, of CO2e. That’s equivalent to taking 991 cars off the road for one year or growing 75,814 tree seedlings for 10 years.
The Port of Vancouver USA is dedicated to the health of the economy, our community and the environment. We continue to seek opportunities for air quality and climate improvements in our operations while supporting the purchase of RECs. For more information on the port’s clean air initiatives, visit our website.