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Energy Department Honors Minnesota and California Utilities with 2012 Public Power Wind Awards

June 19, 2012

In support of the Obama Administration's all-out, all-of-the-above approach to American energy, the Energy Department today recognized three utilities, two in Minnesota and one in California, with the 2012 Public Power Wind Award. Minnesota's Moorhead Public Service and the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, along with California's City of Palo Alto Utilities, received the awards at the American Public Power Association's (APPA) annual conference this morning in Seattle, Washington. APPA and the Energy Department's Wind Powering America initiative created the Public Power Wind Award to recognize APPA-member utilities that demonstrate outstanding leadership in advancing wind power and furthering energy independence in the United States. The Public Power Wind Award supports the Obama Administration's efforts to increase domestic energy production and deliver clean, renewable energy to millions of families and businesses across the nation.

Now in its tenth year, the annual award recognizes APPA members in three categories: Small Member System, Large Member System, and Joint Action Agency. This year's winners by category are the following:

  • Moorhead Public Service in Minnesota received the Small Member System award for its years of leadership in wind energy that began with its pioneering utility-scale wind investments in 1999 and included the unique "Capture the Wind" marketing plan, offering customers the option to buy clean, renewable wind energy. "Capture the Wind" was fully subscribed in less than three weeks.
  • City of Palo Alto Utilities in California received the Large Member System award for delivering 17% of its energy mix from wind power, and for using wind energy to provide 97.5% of the renewable energy credits the utility uses for its award-winning green power program PaloAltoGreen.
  • Minnesota Municipal Power Agency received the Joint Action Agency award for installing a wind turbine in each of its member communities, which it collaborated with to develop the 44-megawatt Oak Glen Wind Farm in Steele County, providing enough electricity to power 14,000 homes.

The criteria used to judge the Public Power Wind Award nominees include high performing executive leadership, creative marketing approaches, project innovation, and benefits to customers. A panel of experts from the wind industry, government, Energy Department national laboratories, and public power agencies selected this year's three winners from a field of 13 APPA-member systems nominated from across the country. See the list of past recipients of the award.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on the Wind Powering America outreach and stakeholder engagement initiative, please visit the Wind Powering America website. Learn more about the Energy Department's efforts to research, develop, deploy and test innovative wind energy technologies.

—Julie Jones