AMD, Intel, Levi Strauss Among Big Calif. Companies Joining Green Power Buying Group
The project is the latest green power initiative from the World Resources Institute, which launched two similar groups in the last eight years: the U.S. Green Power Market Development Group, launched in 2000, and its European counterpart, launched in 2005.
Member companies in the California Affiliates group will share their combined experiences in purchasing and developing renewable energy sources, but there's more to the group than knowledge sharing, according to Alexander Perera, the director of WRI's Green Power Market Development Group.
"There are really three ways companies get value from being part of this project," Perera explained. In addition to learning from fellow members, membership "gives companies a chance to inform and be informed by WRI's research, as well as a forum to partner with each other and to sit down with policy-makers and suppliers to come up with innovative ways to deploy green power."
Perera gave the example of an innovative fuel-cell partnership launched by Dow Chemical and General Motors in 2003. Both companies are members of the WRI's U.S. Green Power Market Development Group.
The 14 companies in the new group -- Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, BT Americas, Cisco Systems, eBay, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Intuit, Levi Strauss & Co., News Corp., Pactiv, Patagonia and Wal-Mart -- are all, according to Perera, in various stages of implementing renewable energy programs. Google, for instance, recently launched its 1.6 megawatt rooftop solar system, and earlier this year Intel announced the country's largest-ever green power purchase, 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits (RECs).
That REC purchase was to some extent made possible by programs like WRI's Green Power Group. in 2003, the U.S. Green Power Market Development Group was the first to make an RFP for renewable energy credits, and Perera said the joint buying power and energy needs of the companies involved in the group gave the REC market a much-needed jolt of credibility.
More information about the U.S. and European green power groups are online at TheGreenPowerGroup.org.
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