Stark White Electrical Power Generating Wind Turbines on Rolling Hills of Green Spring Wheat

Since 2008, the Port of Vancouver USA has been supporting wind energy through the voluntary purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs). By purchasing RECs generated by wind energy, the port is strengthening our 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 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.

Over the past decade, the port has purchased RECs produced by wind farms to match 100% of its estimated 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 73,000 RECs. An estimated 50,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) was avoided through these purchases.
  • In 2021 the port purchased nearly 8,000 RECs which supported wind energy generation that avoided more than 5,660 metric tons, or more that 12 million pounds, of CO2e. That’s equivalent to taking 1,232 cars off the road for one year or growing 93,652 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 the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. In 2020, the port moved over 2,700 wind energy components across its docks bound for wind projects in Washington, Oregon and even as far as 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.