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Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell announced the commonwealth has doubled its green electricity purchase to 20 percent from 10 percent. The enhanced purchase makes Pennsylvania the largest state purchaser of green electricity and ranks Pennsylvania number 12 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Top 25 Green Power Partners list.
Through modifying its existing contract with Community Energy Inc., the commonwealth will purchase 200,000 megawatt hours a year, or 20 percent of state government's electricity, from renewable sources such as wind and hydroelectric energy, all at a premium rate of only 0.34 cents per kilowatt hour, according to PRNewswire.
The contract calls for electricity that is generated 40 percent from wind power and 60 percent from hydroelectric sources. Both produce electricity with zero emissions. The 200,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy represent avoided emissions of 951 tons of sulfur dioxide, 271 tons of nitrogen oxide and 123,410 tons of carbon dioxide.
Shortly after taking office in 2003, the Rendell administration doubled the state's commitment to its Green Power program, requiring state facilities to meet 10 percent of their energy needs through renewable energy sources. The Governor has launched other major initiatives to build a clean, indigenous, diversified energy industry in the state, including the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and PennSecurity Fuels Initiative.
Pennsylvania is among the national leaders in energy efficiency with more than three dozen buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Eight of the certified buildings are state facilities. Another 129 Pennsylvania buildings are registered for LEED certification.