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News

Marine Sciences Laboratory adopts green power

DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory : 19 December, 2003  (Technical Article)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim, Wash., has turned to the garbage dump to power its operations. All of the research facility's electrical energy needs now are met by electricity generated by a plant that uses methane gas from a regional sanitary waste landfill, or green power.
Green power is electricity generated by resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro and biomass, rather than from fossil fuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes landfill gas-to-energy plants as the only renewable source of power that removes pollution from the air. In these plants, methane is collected and used to generate electrical power instead of being released to the environment as a greenhouse gas.

PNNL, a Department of Energy research laboratory, has purchased 2,694,000 kilowatt hours of green power for the Sequim facility and 9,306,000 kilowatt hours of wind and small hydro-generated power for its main campus in Richland, Wash.

The purchases from the Clallam County Public Utility District and the City of Richland will satisfy 15 percent of PNNL's total electricity needs for 2004. That exceeds DOE's goal for each of its sites to use 3 percent green power by 2005 and 7.5 percent by 2010.

'Not only is the laboratory's purchase of green power good for the environment, it also supports our commitment to moving the Northwest toward a sustainable energy future,' said Van Briggs, Marine Sciences Laboratory operations manager.

'We are looking to further diversify our renewable energy portfolio by purchasing solar power from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and off-shore wave energy from the Clallam PUD,' said Mike Moran, PNNL Facilities and Operations. Off-shore wave energy is generated by AquaBuOYsTM, a device that converts ocean wave energy into electricity.

'By aggressively investing in green power, PNNL is helping to accelerate these emerging technologies in our region,' said Fred Mitchell, Clallam PUD telecommunications and power resources manager. In addition, the EPA has recognized PNNL's clean energy contributions by naming the laboratory a Green Energy Partner.
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