Corvallis Garners 'Green Power' Designationby Rebecca Barrett
Corvallis Gazette-Times, April 30, 2006
Last October, the Corvallis City Council passed a resolution encouraging residents to switch to "green power" by Earth Day, April 22.
The Renewable Energy Challenge called for the city to increase the purchase of renewable energy by bringing the rate up from 9.5 percent of customers purchasing renewable energy to 15 percent.
That challenge was met and on Monday, the governor, U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley and the City Council will celebrate Corvallis becoming the first city on the West Coast to achieve the "Green Power Community" designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Corvallis is the third city in the nation to become a "Green Power Community." Boulder, Colo., and Moab, Utah, are the other two cities.
Although many Oregon communities are also supporting green power, including Hood River, Lake Oswego, Bend and Portland, Corvallis has the highest number of residential and commercial customers in the state participating in the optional renewable energy program.
"This designation comes on the heels of a Corvallis City Council challenge to the community to enroll in Pacific Power's Blue Sky renewable power to help reduce global warming," said Hooley, who will deliver the keynote address Monday.
Corvallis partnered with the Renewable Energy Northwest Project, PacifiCorp, and Consumers Power in the renewable energy challenge.
Since adopting "sustainability" as one of its two-year goals in 2005, the City Council has promoted and pursued efforts that sustain economic growth and enhance livability without destroying or depleting natural resources Ñ efforts such as the Renewable Energy Challenge.
Not only did the council encourage residents to pay the $1.95 per block to purchase wind energy, but also the council approved the city purchasing renewable energy blocks through the Blue Sky program.
PacifiCorp, which does business in Oregon as Pacific Power, had more than 43,000 customers in six states enrolled in the renewable power program at the end of February, an increase from 36,125 customers in 2004. Oregon accounts for nearly half that number, with 21,405 signups, or about 4 percent of Pacific Power customers here.
The company's renewable sales volume in 2005 was 234 million kilowatt hours, compared to 192 million in 2004, a 21 percent increase.
In addition to the Blue Sky program, Pacific Power customers can select a Blue Sky Usage package where they receive their equivalent energy usage from renewable resources or Blue Sky Habitat, where customers purchase renewable energy, plus make a $2.50 monthly donation to the Nature Conservancy of Oregon to preserve native fish habitat. PacifiCorp also encourages the development of wind farms.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Celebration of Corvallis' designation as a "Green Power Community." Dignitaries to attend include Gov. Ted Kulongoski, U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley, Corvallis City Councilors, and representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pacific Power.
WHEN: 2 p.m. Monday
WHERE: Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave.
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