U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Recognizes County of Santa Clara With A Green Power Leadership Award

National Awards Honor Leading Green Power Users

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The County of Santa Clara has received a 2019 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its progressive efforts to use renewable energy. EPA’s annual Green Power Leadership Awards recognize America’s leading green power users for helping to advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA recognized the County of Santa Clara in the category of Direct Project Engagement at the Sept. 5, 2019, Renewable Energy Markets Conference, in San Diego, California. 

“I would like to commend our Facilities and Fleet Department staff for receiving this recognition, reflecting the County’s commitment to energy projects and sustainability programs that will benefit our communities,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Chair of the Board’s Housing, Land Use, Environment. “This leadership award demonstrates that we can continue to get closer to achieving our environmental stewardship goals while being fiscally responsible as well.”   

The County of Santa Clara was one of only seven organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for direct project engagement. The program recognizes EPA Green Power Partners that distinguish themselves through direct project engagement with on- and off-site projects using a variety of financing structures to access renewable energy. Santa Clara County is currently accessing more than 74 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually from a portfolio of various renewable energy systems. 

“This recognition acknowledges our consistent efforts to implement green measures such as water and energy efficiency projects, zero-waste programs to reduce vehicle emissions and landfill waste streams, and renewable power solar PV farms to preserve our environment,” said County of Santa Clara Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “Our progressive actions to advance renewable energy and adopt green power projects reflect our commitment to the environment, our community and the next generations.”     

The County of Santa Clara ranks as No.11 on EPA’s Top 30 Local Government Top Partner list, and No. 16 on the Top 30 On-site Generation Top Partner list. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners using the most renewable energy annually as of July 2019.

An aerial view of a line of solar panels in between a neighborhood and the highway

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of those sources in the United States and advance the American green power market.  

County of Santa Clara ongoing environmental efforts include: 

  • Investing nearly $10 million in energy and water efficiency projects over the next three years.
  • Currently developing an additional 13 megawatts of solar PV that would increase the county's solar PV portfolio to nearly 30 megawatts of generating capacity. 
  • The County has committed to purchase 100% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2019. Sources will include onsite solar, 100% green power from San Jose Clean Energy / Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Renewable Energy Certificate purchases.


About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,500 Partners voluntarily using more than 60 billion 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 epa.gov/greenpower

About the Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards to 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 ceremony takes place at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. This year’s 17 recipients are using more than 27.8 billion kWh of green power—enough to power nearly 2.6 million average American homes for a year. For additional information please visit epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-leadership-awards

About the County of Santa Clara, California

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth largest county in California. With a $8.17 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and nearly 22,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services, including public health and environmental protection; behavioral health and medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospital and Clinics), O’Connor Hospital and Saint Louise Regional Hospital; child and adult protection services; homelessness prevention and solutions; roads, parks and libraries; emergency response to disasters; protection of minority communities and those under threat; access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need. 


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Media Contact: Laurel Anderson/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119. 

Posted: September 13, 2019. ​


News Release


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