Bozzuto Converting Headquarters to Wind Power | What is a Renewable Energy Certificate?

By May 14, 2012No Comments

[Infographic] Bozzuto Converting Headquarters to Wind Power

Wind Farm

GREENBELT, MD – The Bozzuto Group, a Washington, D.C. area based Multi-Family real estate services organization,  announced that it has committed to matching 100 percent of the electricity used at its corporate headquarters with renewable energy from U.S. wind projects.

This commitment to green power will be achieved through the purchase of Green-e Energy® Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from 3Degrees, a renewable energy certificate and carbon offset provider to wholesale and retail customers. The RECs ensure that for every megawatt hour of electricity used at Bozzuto’s headquarters, a wind power project will deliver one megawatt hour of renewable energy to the power grid.

“While we have implemented energy efficiency and conservation efforts throughout our company headquarters, we still need electricity to operate,” said Rick Mostyn, Chief Operating Officer, The Bozzuto Group. “By matching all of our energy use at our corporate headquarters with 100% wind-powered RECs, we will mitigate the environmental impact of our electricity use while stimulating the low-carbon renewable energy economy.”

Using calculations and the national emissions rate from the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, The Bozzuto Group’s purchase of 1,151 megawatt hours of U.S. Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) from 3Degrees will help avoid an estimated 794 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon Offsets are a big dealCarbon offsets enable organizations to mitigate the environmental impact of their greenhouse gas emissions with greenhouse gas emission reductions occurring elsewhere, helping them realize sustainability goals and comply with government climate regulations.

A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), also known as a Renewable Energy Credit, is created for each megawatt-hour (1 MWh, or 1000 kilowatt-hours) of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the power grid.

Purchasers of RECs provide renewable energy project owners with a revenue stream that supplements the revenue they secure from the sale of the project’s electricity. These additional revenues improve renewable energy project economics, increasing their competitiveness with fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

Despite being a mature technology, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has determined that conventional fossil fuel generation receives significantly higher federal subsidies than renewable energy generation.

What is a Renewable Energy Credit or REC?

  • RECs represent the legal rights to the environmental benefits associated with the generation of renewable energy.
  • Each MWh of renewable electricity reduces the need for one MWh of conventional electricity, avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental effects related to conventional electricity generation.
  • Many state governments use RECs to track compliance with Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and other government renewable energy requirements.
  • RECs are needed to track renewable energy generation because once an electron from renewable generation is delivered to an interconnected power grid, that electron becomes indistinguishable from an electron from conventional sources, making it essentially impossible to guarantee delivery of only “green” electrons to an office building, factory or home by an electricity provider.
  • RECs therefore provide organizations and individuals with a mechanism to keep the legal title to the environmental benefits of  renewable energy distinct from the flow of electrons.
  • This allows utilities, LSEs, businesses, government agencies and nonprofits to claim the value and benefits of the renewable energy associated with RECs as their own.
  • RECs are independently audited by utility commissions and programs such as Green-e® Energy to ensure that only one customer claims credit for each REC, and the MWh of renewable electricity generation and delivery it represents.

What is a REC Diagram

Who purchases RECs?

  • Utilities and Load-Serving Entities (LSEs) purchase RECs to help them meet RPS and other government renewable energy requirements.
  • Utilities and LSEs also purchase RECs so they can offer their residential and commercial customers green power through voluntary programs.
  • Businesses, government agencies and nonprofits purchase RECs to green the electricity used in their operations and comply with government renewable energy regulations.
  • Green building professionals purchase RECs to mitigate the environmental impact of the electricity used in their buildings, helping them qualify for points under the LEED Green Power Credit.

What kind of RECs are there?

  • Compliance RECs, which can be used by utilities to meet a particular state’s renewable energy regulatory requirements.
  • U.S. Green Power RECs, which are sourced from U.S. renewable energy projects that use Green-e Energy approved technologies.
  • U.S. Wind RECs, which are generated at wind farms located throughout the United States.
  • Project-Specific RECs, which are sourced from a specific renewable energy project, such as theRed Hills Wind Farm or the Milpitas Unified School District, or a specific geographical location (such as the state of California).
  • Often RECs can fall into multiple categories. For example, U.S. Green Power RECs can often be used to fulfill a utility’s state RPS requirements

“Greenhouse gases that cause climate change are released when fossil fuels are burnt to produce energy,” said Steve McDougal, VP Marketing and Business Development, 3Degrees. “By matching its electricity use with RECs, The Bozzuto Group is reducing its impact on climate change by supporting the development of clean, renewable energy.”

The EPA estimates that this amount of CO2e emissions is equivalent to the CO2 emissions released from consuming or burning more than 1,800 barrels of oil, the annual CO2 emissions produced from the use of electricity at more than 95 average homes, or the carbon sequestered annually by more than seven acres of forest preserved from deforestation.

Revenue from the sale of RECs provides important economic support to renewable energy projects. By financially rewarding these projects for the environmental benefits associated with the renewable energy they produce, RECs help these projects compete economically with fossil fuel electricity generation, encouraging the development of similar projects.

Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, The Bozzuto Group is a diversified residential real estate company consisting of six integrated companies – Acquisitions, Construction, Development, Homebuilding, Land Development and Property Management – that together provide a broad range of real estate services throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  The company is committed to providing quality housing for individuals of all income levels, producing everything from luxury homes and apartments to affordable housing solutions.

Source: The Bozzuto Group & 3Degrees

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