For more than 15 years, the Port of Vancouver USA has supporting wind energy through the voluntary purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs). Since 2008, the purchase of RECs generated by wind energy has strengthened the port’s commitment to environmental stewardship while encouraging renewable energy development and reducing our carbon footprint.

How do RECs work?

A green energy provider (such as a wind farm) generates one REC for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity it produces. When the electricity is fed into the grid, the REC is issued a unique identification number in a tracking system to make sure it isn’t double counted. The certified REC can then be sold and tracked on the open market and retired once purchased.

Since 2011, the port has annually purchased RECs produced by wind farms to match 100% of its annual electricity usage for the buildings in which it controls the utilities.

Here are some fun facts about those purchases:

  • Since we began this program, we’ve purchased more than 105,000 RECs. An estimated 64,591 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) was avoided through these purchases.
  • In May 2024 the port purchased 8,413 RECs which supported wind energy generation that avoided over 3,500 metric tons, or more than 7.7 million pounds, of CO2e. That’s equivalent to taking 835 cars off the road for one year or growing 57,990 tree seedlings for 10 years.
  • In recognition of its green energy purchases, the port is certified as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.

The port’s REC purchases support a sustainable future by backing wind energy projects in regions which may utilize wind energy components moved through the port. In 2023, the port moved over 1,100 wind energy components across its docks bound for wind projects in Canada.

The port is dedicated to the health of the economy, our community and the environment. We continue to seek opportunities for air quality and climate improvements in our operations while supporting the purchase of RECs. For more information on the port’s clean air initiatives or Climate Action Plan visit our website.