Philadelphia Phillies Lead Major Leagues in Green Power

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, May 5, 2008 (ENS) – The Philadelphia Phillies have signed up to buy 20 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy to serve the ball club’s 43,500-seat Citizens Bank Park. With this purchase the team has become the largest green power purchaser in major league baseball.

The Phillies’ purchase of 20 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy certificates will offset the carbon footprint created by the organization’s utility power usage at Citizens Bank Park for one year.

The Phillies’ purchase also is estimated to avoid the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 2,800 vehicles each year.

“EPA applauds the Philadelphia Phillies for playing ball and protecting our environment by purchasing green power,” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. “By being the first major league baseball team to join the Green Power Partnership, the Phillies have hit a grand slam for the environment.”

EPA Regional Administrator Donald Welsh joined Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and representatives from the Phillies, Major League Baseball, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Pennsylvania’s Department of Energy for the announcement last week.

“When Phillies fans think of green and Citizens Bank Park, they’re just not going to be thinking about the grass on the field or the Phanatic,” said Governor Rendell.

Phillies players and fans at Citizens
Bank Park (Photo by Darrins)

“By choosing to meet its energy needs through clean, renewable energy, the Phillies organization is making a commitment to improving the quality of the air we breathe, to protecting our climate, and spurring the development of additional green energy sources,” the governor said.

Other green initiatives are happening throughout the ballpark. Global Spectrum, Aramark and the Phillies have been recycling frying oil to be used as biodiesel fuel. The partners are recycling glass, plastic and cardboard generated from game day operations; and using carry out trays that are 100 percent post consumer fiber. And fans buying food at the ballpark are eating locally grown produce and organic foods.

They are using environmentally friendly cleaning products and a bio-enzyme to remove grease trapped in kitchen drain pipes.

The ballpark is conserving energy with the building management system and light control system. The facility is converting to lighting that uses light emitting diodes, LEDs, which take 80 percent less power and last years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

The ballpark also is re-using rain water run-off for landscaping and field irrigation.

Among the organizations in EPA’s Green Power Partnership, the Phillies are the third largest green power purchaser in Philadelphia and seventh largest in Pennsylvania.

Buying green power is an effective way for an organization to reduce its environmental footprint. Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to traditional power generation. It also does not produce a net-increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

Now Johnson says the EPA is looking to other professional sports teams to “step up to the plate,” buy green power, and help reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

The Green Power Partnership includes a wide variety of organizations from Fortune 500 companies, to small and medium businesses, to government institutions, colleges and universities.

Pennsylvania is the only state on the EPA’s Green Power Partner list, ranking 19th nationally.

The commonwealth purchases nearly 30 percent of the electricity it takes to power state operations from clean and renewable sources. Under a contract with Community Energy Inc., the state purchases nearly 280,000 megawatt hours a year from renewable wind and hydroelectric sources.

But only the 157,200 megawatt hours of wind power purchased by the commonwealth qualify for the EPA’s Green Power Partner list.

Overall, more than 950 Green Power Partners are buying over 14 billion kWh of green power annually – the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 1.5 million average American homes for one year.

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