Green power, a subset of renewable energy, represents the renewable energy resources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit, according to the EPA. The agency defines green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.
Intel moved to the top of the list by using green power to cover 100 percent of its electricity load, according to the EPA. Microsoft Corp. moved into second place by increasing its green power use to more than 1.9 billion KWh annually.
Apple Inc., which recently announced its data centers are now powered entirely by renewable energy, joined the top 50 list at number 10. According to the EPA, 85 percent of the company's electricity nationwide comes from green power.
Other companies in the top five were Kohl's Department Stores, Whole Foods Market and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which recently announced a plan to increase its production or procurement of renewable energy 600 percent from 2010 levels by 2020.
The U.S. Department of Energy was ranked sixth, according to the EPA's list.
The agency also released a list of 47 partners that have committed to purchasing green power for a period of five years or more, of which 15 were higher education institutions. Those institutions included the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University, Iowa State University and the University of Maryland.
This article was originally published by Power Engineering. It was republished with permission.