PSE governments and corporations work together for a greener future
PSE launches new renewable energy product in the Northwest specifically targeted to meet demands of commercial and municipal customers
BELLEVUE, Wash. (4/18/2017) Puget Sound Energy is teaming up with cities, government institutions and major commercial customers to provide them with renewable energy.
It’s a ground-breaking product where customers, in an effort to use energy that meets their financial and carbon reduction goals, have agreed to a long-term service agreement in order to make this project viable.
This innovative program, “Green Direct” was recently approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). Once complete, the project would produce enough renewable energy to power nearly 30,000 Washington homes.
“Green Direct exemplifies the power of partnership,” said Kimberly Harris, president & CEO of Puget Sound Energy. “Working with the UTC and with customers like King County, we’ve been able to structure an industry-leading renewable energy program for our largest electric customers. We’re so excited to see this come together and for what it means to our customers and the region.”
The largest off-taker of the energy will be King County, with government entities like Western Washington University and Sound Transit also committing to the project.
“King County is significantly reducing the greenhouse gas impacts of our operations while using our purchasing power to spark even further development of clean, renewable energy in Washington State,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “PSE’s Green Direct project is entirely consistent with our climate goals to take bold steps that will cut our climate footprint and benefit generations to come.”
Many cities have also signed up to cover all or part of their operations including Anacortes, Bellevue, Snoqualmie and Mercer Island.
“Moving 100 percent of Mercer Island facilities away from fossil fuel-based electricity to clean, renewable wind, is just the kind of program we had in mind,” said Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett. “We appreciate PSE’s significant efforts to implement this new direct-purchase option in Washington.”
Commercial customers include some of the most well-known brands in America, including Target, Starbucks and REI.
“By partnering with Puget Sound Energy on their innovative Green Direct program, we’re able to power seven of our local Target stores with 100 percent clean energy,” said John Leisen, vice president of property management at Target. “This initiative is just one example of Target’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and promoting renewable energy solutions in the community we serve.”
Starbucks plans to have approximately 116 of its Washington State stores powered with green energy from PSE.
“As part of Starbucks ongoing Global Responsibility efforts, we’re proud to support the advancement of renewable energy sources in regionally relevant ways,” said Rebecca Zimmer, Starbucks director of Environmental Impact. “We’re proud of our commitment to bring greener power to our stores, and now through our relationship with Puget Sound Energy, our partners (employees) in the Puget Sound can see this come to life, right in their community.”
Outdoor co-op REI will power its headquarters and five local stores through the project. The co-op is involved in green energy efforts throughout the country and has kept its energy use nearly flat while doubling sales since 2008. REI has been an important partner in the development of the Green Direct program over the past decade.
“We believe that an outdoors life is a life well lived, so having a healthy outdoors for future generations is something we focus on every day,” said Vik Sahney, REI’s divisional vice president of sustainability. “We are constantly looking for innovative ways to increase renewable energy development. PSE’s Green Direct tariff directly benefits Washington, is a pioneering model for utilities nationwide, and supports REI’s success in continuing operate 100 percent on renewable electricity.”
Green Direct will make a difference by constructing a new renewable generating facility while our partners benefit from cost competitive prices and continued access to energy efficiency programs.
“A key aspect of a voluntary green energy program is that all of the costs and benefits must accrue to those customers who select the program, and are not shifted to those customers who are not involved,” said Tom MacLean, manager for customer renewable energy development.
It is also attracting national attention as one of eight utilities identified in the country as having an optional program like this one.
“The Fortune 100 and local governments have set ambitious renewable energy goals, and utilities that help meet those goals in an affordable way make their region more attractive to those growing businesses,” said Letha Tawney, Director of Utility Innovation at World Resources Institute. “Puget Sound Energy has shown national leadership in this green tariff – the scale of the program and the breadth of the customers served are both groundbreaking.”
Residential customers can also support renewable energy production by participating in PSE’s long-running Green Power Program.
Puget Sound Energy is proud to serve our neighbors and communities in 10 Washington counties.
We’re the state’s largest utility, supporting 1.1 million electric customers and 800,000 natural gas customers.