National Awards Honor Leading Green Power Users
[Crandon, WI] — The Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) has received a 2016 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. The EPA presented the Forest County Potawatomi Community with the “Excellence in Green Power Use” award at the 2016 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco, California on October 17, 2016.
The Forest County Potawatomi Community was one of only seven organizations nationwide to receive an Excellence in Green Power Use award. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves by demonstrating leadership in procuring green power from a utility green power product, a power purchase agreement, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) product.
“We are pleased to recognize the Forest County Potawatomi Community with an Excellence in Green Power Use Award for its exceptional commitment to using green power and reducing its carbon footprint,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “In doing so, the Forest County Potawatomi Community is taking real action to address climate change, and we encourage other organizations to do the same.”
The FCPC is currently using nearly 56 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is more than enough green power to meet 100 percent of its electricity use at all tribal facilities– including government and social service buildings, Potawatomi Casino Hotel (Milwaukee, WI), and Potawatomi Carter Casino & Hotel (Carter, WI). According to the EPA, the FCPC’s current green power use is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 5,100 average American homes annually.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Forest County Potawatomi Attorney General Jeff Crawford. “Purchasing green power helps us reduce our carbon footprint and meet our goal of being more sustainable. It also sends a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision.”
Over the last several years, the FCPC has also implemented a number of energy efficiency initiatives, such as moving to a four-day work week and using green building standards in the operation and construction of tribal facilities. These initiatives have significantly lowered both the Tribe’s energy costs and its environmental footprint. Since 2007, the Tribe has reduced its carbon emissions per square foot of building space by over 20 percent. It has eliminated nearly 14,000 tons of emitted carbon dioxide per year through improved energy efficiencies alone. That is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 2,000 passenger vehicles, or the emissions from the electrical usage of about 1,500 homes for one year.
In 2013, the FCPC completed construction on a $20 million biodigester in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley. The facility uses food and beverage waste as a fuel source to produce an average of 2.0 megawatts of renewable energy – enough to power about 1,500 homes. The energy from the biodigester is sold to local utilities. The Tribe is also able to use waste heat from the biodigester for beneficial reuse in nearby facility heating systems.
In 2015, the Tribe installed solar panels at 15 buildings on their Forest County, Wisconsin reservation. The solar panels produce approximately 1.0 megawatt of renewable electricity, which is enough energy to power about 750 homes. In addition, the panels can produce enough energy at each facility to meet at least 20 percent of the building’s energy needs. In some instances the panels produce enough energy to offset more than 90 percent of the building’s energy needs.
The Forest County Potawatomi Community is listed as one of the 100 largest green power users in the country within the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. It is ranked as the 11th largest green power user in the nation among local government partners within the Green Power Partnership.
About the Forest County Potawatomi Community
The Forest County Potawatomi Community is a federally recognized Native American tribe located in Northeastern Wisconsin with a membership of about 1,400. In addition to their work for the environment, the Potawatomi operate several tribal enterprises, including casinos in Milwaukee and Carter, Wisconsin, and a Health & Wellness Center in Crandon, Wisconsin. The tribe employs approximately 3,500 people in its government operations, casino operations, social services and additional business.
For more information on the Potawatomi, please visit www.fcpotawatomi.com.
About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,400 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities.
For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.
About the Green Power Leadership Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year; Sustained Excellence in Green Power; Direct Project Engagement; Excellence in Green Power Use; and Green Power Community of the Year. EPA’s Green Power Partner awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference.
For additional information please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-leadership-awards.