Since 2008, the Port of Vancouver USA has been supporting wind energy through the voluntary purchase of certified renewable energy certificates (RECs).

A green energy provider generates one REC for every 1,000 kWh of electricity it produces. When the electricity is fed into the grid, the REC is generated in a tracking system and issued a unique identification number to make sure it isn’t double-counted. Then the REC can be sold and tracked on the open market.

For the last seven years, the port has purchased RECs to match 100 percent of its estimated annual electricity usage for the buildings in which it controls its utilities. Since we began this program, we’ve purchased more than 53,000 RECs and supported generation that prevented the release of 35,884 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Our REC purchases support a sustainable future through wind energy projects in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. The RECs purchased in 2017 supported generation that avoided more than 4,230 metric tons, or 9,332,402 pounds, of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to taking 906 cars off the road for one year or growing 109,706 trees for 10 years.

By purchasing RECs, the port is reducing our carbon footprint and strengthening our commitment to environmental stewardship while encouraging renewable energy development.