The world’s most famous office building has been recognized for purchasing 100 percent renewable energy. The Empire State Building has received a 2011 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power purchasers for their commitment to renewable energy and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA presented the Empire State Building with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2011 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco today.
The Empire State Building, believed to be New York City’s largest commercial purchaser of 100% renewable energy, is purchasing 55 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power annually from Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions. According to the U.S. EPA, as of April 2011, the purchase is the largest green power purchase of any EPA Green Power Partner in New York City.
The building’s renewable purchase is enough green power to meet 100 percent of the building’s purchased electricity use. The contract with Green Mountain is for two years.
The 2.85 million square-foot office building was one of only five organizations nationwide to be chosen as a Green Power Partner of the Year. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market.
“Receiving a Green Power Leadership Award is a significant accomplishment in the Empire State Building’s ongoing commitment to challenge business as usual when it comes to energy efficiency and energy consumption,” stated Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Building Company. “This is only part of our continuing efforts to reduce our environmental impact and we hope to encourage other buildings globally to consider purchasing clean energy.”
The Empire State Building’s renewable energy purchase also has a significant environmental impact – it avoids nearly 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year. That is the equivalent of:
- Taking over 7,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year;
- Not burning over 200 railroad cars full of coal;
- Not consuming over 4.2 million gallons of gasoline.
The Empire State Building currently ranks number 22 on EPA’s 100% Green Power Purchaser list that highlights EPA Green Power Partners that are buying green power to meet 100 percent of their U.S. organization-wide electricity use.1 U.S.EPA updates its Top Partner lists quarterly at epa.gov/.
“Receiving Green Power Partner of the Year is a great honor and indicative of the Empire State Building’s leadership and commitment to supporting green power,” said Blaine Collison, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “Their green power purchase should serve as an example to others that organizations can make a real environmental difference by supporting and purchasing green power.”
The renewable energy that supplies the Empire State Building is being purchased in the form of wind Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from NRG Energy, Green Mountain’s parent company. Purchasing RECs is a widely accepted way to address the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity consumption. Purchasing RECs in the same quantity as the Empire State Building’s electricity consumption ensures that the amount of energy used by the building is added to the U.S. power grid from renewable sources and supports the further development of these projects.
The Empire State Building’s green power purchase further reinforces the building’s sustainability strategy. In July, the Empire State Building unveiled a $2 million interactive, multi-media sustainability exhibit at the second floor visitor’s center, which showcases a $20 million energy retrofit project that was announced with President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The installation aims to educate the millions of people who visit the building every year on the positive global impact of both energy efficient building and sustainable living practices.
About the Empire State Building
Soaring 1,454 feet (from base to antenna) above Manhattan, the Empire State Building (esbnyc.com) is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions and is the region’s #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit the website or @ESBObservatory.
About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership (epa.gov/greenpower) is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has close to 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing more than 21 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities.
About the Green Power Leadership Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories; Green Power Partner of the Year; On-site Generation; Green Power Purchase, and Green Power Community of the Year. EPA’s Purchaser awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information please visit epa.gov/greenpower/awards/.
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain (GreenMountain.com), the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the United States. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, such as wind, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 11.3 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers.