Green Power Partnership

Green Power Partnership Resource Eligibility

EPA defines green power as a subset of renewable energy that includes those resources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit.

Renewable energy refers to a set of energy resources that are naturally replenishing, such as solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and geothermal. By comparison, fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas, are not renewable since they are finite in quantity.

Green power resources produce electricity with zero anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions and have a superior environmental profile compared to conventional power generation. For the purposes of the Partnership, EPA requires that green power sources must have been built within the last 15 years in order to support the new renewable energy development requirement.

The following renewable resources are eligible in meeting EPA's usage requirements:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV)
  • Wind
  • Geothermal
  • Some forms of hydroelectric
  • Some forms of biomass
  • Co-firing of eligible forms of biomass with non-renewables—accepted under certain conditions
  • Biodiesel (B100)
  • Fuel cells—using the above eligible fuels

To learn more about eligible renewable resources, please check out the Partnership Requirements document.

Partners may use any of the following types of green power supply options in meeting EPA usage requirements:

Green Power Procurement Strategy Category REC Ownership/ Retirement Required Generation Asset Ownership Electricity Delivered Location
Self-generation, grid-connected Self-gen Yes Buyer Yes On-site or Off-site
Self-generation, off-grid Self-gen No Buyer Yes On-site
Physical Power Purchase (PPA) Agreement Direct Yes Third party Yes On-site or Off-site
Financial/Virtual PPA Direct Yes Third party No Off-site
Buy from Regulated Utility (i.e., green power pricing program) Retail Yes Third party Yes Off-site
Buy from Competitive Supplier (i.e., green power marketing program) Retail Yes Third party Yes Off-site
Unbundled RECs Retail Yes Third party No Off-site

The eligible renewable energy content of utility-based green power products can vary. EPA only recognizes the eligible renewable energy portion of a product toward the usage requirement.

EPA recommends that organizations purchase certified and verified green power products as a matter of best practice. Product certification and verification ensures the quality and content of the green power environmental attributes.

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