SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Applied Materials and Santa Clara University (SCU) have earned Energy Innovator Awards from Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, for their innovative and effective approaches to utilizing renewable power and implementing energy efficiency measures in 2012. The annual honors were announced by SVP today (May 3) at the 2013 Silicon Valley Energy and Sustainability Summit presented by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and hosted by Oracle in Redwood City.
Applied Materials was named the 2012 Green Power Champion, an award given to an organization for innovative and successful green power purchases or implementation of other renewable energy programs. The company committed to purchasing 45 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually from SVP’s Santa Clara Green Power program, an increase of over five times its previous commitment.
The Environmental Innovator Award was given to Santa Clara University, which used a combination of efficiency measures, thermal energy, solar and green power to move closer to its goal of becoming climate neutral by the end of 2015. In four years, the university has reduced its electricity consumption by over 10 percent despite a growing campus population and infrastructure.
“Santa Clara University and Applied Materials are two of Santa Clara’s most respected institutions, and they continue to provide community leadership in the fight against climate change,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager of Customer Service. “They set a great example for every SVP customer, all of whom have the opportunity to reduce electricity usage, implement energy efficiency measures and choose renewable sources for their power.”
Applied Materials’ yearly purchase of 45 million kWh of wind power brings its Santa Clara Headquarters power portfolio to 100 percent green. Using only renewable power helps Applied Materials avoid over 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, equal to the pollutants discharged by over 6,500 passenger cars.
Santa Clara University supplements academic classes on sustainability with extensive practical applications to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2012, SCU added two new LEEDTM Gold buildings, certified for their minimum environmental impact and performance efficiency. Installing motion sensors for lighting, adding a 25-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system to one residence hall, and conducting a competitive Energy Challenge that encouraged energy-saving practices on campus all brought SCU closer to its target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015.
In addition to these conservation efforts, SCU produced over 1.5 million kWh of photovoltaic electricity and over 41,000 therms of solar thermal power campus-wide in 2012. SCU also automated thermostats, upgraded parking and exterior lighting to LED systems and installed eight vehicle charging stations for electric vehicles.
The SVP Energy Innovator Awards are given to local business, academic, governmental and non-profit organizations to recognize outstanding efforts to implement energy efficiency, environmental and renewable energy programs in the City of Santa Clara.
About Silicon Valley Power
Silicon Valley Power (siliconvalleypower.com) is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, Owens Corning and Yahoo!, at rates 15 to 45 percent below neighboring communities.