The wind purchase offsets power used in the firm's Northwest region offices in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii. "One of the great virtues of Green Tag is that we don't have to pipe it in. You can strip the environmental attributes from the wind turbine and allocate it geographically any way you want," explains Bonneville's Angus Duncan of how CH2M can buy green power for use in Hawaii. The trick is in keeping track of the purchase, he says, so there is an "auditable and enforceable transaction so as not to double count CO2" benefits.
Dan Arvizu of CH2M HILL says the Green Tag purchase is part of the firm's environmental commitment, which includes environmental and technical work at FPL Energy's Vansycle Ridge wind plant in eastern Oregon. CH2M HILL worked on the original 24.7 MW project and is currently working with FPL on permitting and design of the StateLine project, an expansion of Vansycle to more than 200 MW (Windpower Monthly, July 2000).
Payments for green power to Bonneville Environment Foundation help offset that part of the cost of power from new wind projects that exceeds the market price of electricity. Most recently, the foundation signed Tacoma Power, Portland General Electric and the US Environmental Protection Agency to its Green Tag program, adding about 10 MW of wind turbines to an unnamed site in the Northwest.