Submitted by Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy is excited to announce its Green Direct customers are now receiving renewable energy from the largest western Washington wind project, Skookumchuck Wind Facility.
The Green Direct program is a ground-breaking initiative designed to provide PSE corporate and governmental customers the ability to purchase 100 percent of their energy from a dedicated, local, renewable energy resource, while providing them with a stable, cost efficient solution. By adding more renewables to PSE’s portfolio, Green Direct also furthers PSE’s deep decarbonization goals and move toward 100 percent clean energy by 2045, as called for in Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act.
“Our customers have been asking for clean energy, and we have taken those requests to heart and created programs like Green Direct,” said PSE President and CEO Mary Kipp. “I’m proud that we were able to work in partnership with our customers to structure an industry-leading renewable energy program that meets their needs.”
The project, owned by Southern Power, will produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of nearly 30,000 Washington homes. It is located on Weyerhaeuser timber land, located in Lewis and Thurston Counties. It is the first large wind project located in Western Washington; and the first in the state to be located on working forest land.
“Green Direct is the result of King County, regional cities, and others uniting to work with Puget Sound Energy to tackle climate change,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “King County is the largest buyer of Green Direct clean energy, which will help us shrink our carbon footprint and meet the aggressive targets spelled out in our 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan to reduce countywide climate pollution by half this decade.”
PSE teamed up with cities, government institutions and major commercial customers to provide them with renewable energy. In an effort to use energy that meets their financial and carbon reduction goals, customers agreed to a long-term service agreement in order to make the project viable.
“With this first phase of Green Direct, one hundred percent of the Capitol Campus’s electricity is now powered through renewable resources,” said Washington State Department of Enterprise Services Director Chris Liu. “And next year, six state agencies that reside outside the Capitol Campus will join the program. The state is making a significant investment in our future through Green Direct—not only are we able to lock in our rates over an extended period of time, which saves taxpayers money, we are taking advantage of local, reliable and fully renewable energy sources.”
Other entities and institutions like Western Washington University, Whatcom County, Port of Seattle and Sound Transit also committed to the project.
“This Green Direct purchase reduces the airport’s electricity-related carbon emissions by 40% and our total carbon emissions from all sources by about 5%,” said Peter Steinbrueck, President, Port of Seattle Commission, who operate Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. “This shows industry can do more. As an early adopter, this is another step forward in our goal to cut our emissions 50% by 2030 to be the greenest and most energy-efficient port in North America.”
Many Western Washington cities have also signed up to cover all or part of their operations including Anacortes, Langley, Bellingham, Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater Snoqualmie and Mercer Island.
“When we made the decision to power 100 percent of our facilities with clean wind energy instead of fossil fuel electricity, we hoped it would encourage other cities to do the same,” said Mercer Island Mayor Benson Wong. “Now that Green Direct is in full operation, we’re proud of the major role it plays in our City’s ongoing commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas impacts and promoting sustainability.”
Commercial customers include some of the most well-known brands in America including Costco, Target and REI Co-op.
“The participation of our Costco HQ campus in the Green Direct program supports the goals and commitments of our company to engage in direct sourced renewable energy projects,” said Costco Wholesale Energy Buyer Shay Reed. “Costco is committed to sourcing in an environmentally responsible manner, with an emphasis on direct projects, in the communities where we do business.”
Outdoor co-op REI will power parts of their Western Washington operations, including five local stores. The co-op is involved in green energy efforts throughout the country as it is actively working to more than halve its carbon footprint by 2030. REI has been an important partner in the development of the Green Direct program over the past decade.
“Access to clean energy is critical as we work to reduce our impact on the planet,” said Andrew Dempsey, REI senior manager of sustainability. “We hope this project can serve as an example that others might follow to add local, green energy to the grid.”
A second project for Green Direct, the Lund Hill Solar Project, is under development by Avangrid Renewables in Klickitat County. At 150 MW, Lund Hill would be the largest solar project in the state.
Residential customers can also support renewable energy production by participating in PSE’s long-running Green Power or Solar Choice programs.
PSE is committed to deep decarbonization and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. For more information, visit the Puget Sound Energy website.
List of participants:
- City of Bellevue
- City of Olympia
- City of Langley
- City of Kirkland
- King County
- City of Tumwater
- Sound Transit
- Western Washington University
- Port of Seattle
- City of Anacortes
- City of Mercer Island
- City of Snoqualmie
- City of Bellingham
- City of Lacey
- City of Issaquah
- Whatcom County
- State Capitol Campus