(Courtesy Park City Municipal)

Park City Municipal Corporation announced today that the community has been honored with a 2010 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 and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA presented Park City with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2010 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Ore. on October 20, 2010.

Park City was one of only two EPA Green Power Communities nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for purchasing renewable energy in amounts that meet or exceed EPA purchase requirements for residents’ and businesses’ collective green power purchase. Park City became an EPA Green Power Community in 2006. The Park City community is currently purchasing more than 11 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 3 percent of the community’s purchased electricity use. Green Power Communities distinguish themselves through their green power usage, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy, and impact on the green power market.

“We are proud to receive this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Park City Mayor Dana Williams. “Purchasing green power helps our community become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice to fight climate change.” Mayor Williams added that he is proud that this is a community award, recognizing the individual efforts of residents and businesses, as well as local government.

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Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while offering a superior environmental profile compared to traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.

“EPA congratulates our leadership award winners for demonstrating by example the importance of using clean, renewable energy,” said Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at EPA. "By using green power, Park City, Utah is leading the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment while helping advance the market for renewable energy.”

According to the EPA, Park City’s current green power purchase of more than 11 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 2,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 1,000 average American homes annually.

Park City has a successful track record of environmental initiatives. The City has sponsored several renewable energy projects including solar PV installations at the City’s Ice Arena and at Creekside Park, and an affordable housing development with 13 units that all include solar PV, solar thermal, and geothermal heat pumps. Later this month a solar array will be added to City Hall. The City is in the middle of its third renewable energy challenge in the past 10 years. The goal of the Blue Sky community challenge is to increase total Blue Sky participation in Park City from 11 to 15 percent.