September 2022 CarbonBetter® Impact Update
Every month we share the positive impact our customers have made through their use of CarbonBetter-certified 100% energy, which is included in every Provision clean energy supply plan. Each customer on these plans receives an email with their personal impact for the month, and this blog post reflects the impact all of our customers have made together since we became CarbonBetter-certified in October 2020.
We’re honored to be able to provide affordable clean energy that makes a real difference. Check out all of our past Impact Updates here!
Our Customers’ CarbonBetter Impact – September 2022 Update
Provision customers have funded 85,361 mWh of clean energy generation, which could power 9,178 homes for a year.*
Provision customers have offset 49,940 tons of carbon, which is like avoiding over 123 million miles of driving.**
Provision customers have funded planting 58,822 trees, which may sequester 970 tons of carbon in their lifetime.***
Want to be included in our next impact update?
It’s easy to contribute to the positive impact we make each month. All Provision energy plans include CarbonBetter clean energy, which helps you make a difference automatically when you use energy at home.
Our customers help fund clean energy generation through renewable energy certificates, offset carbon through carbon credits, and plant trees to aid in reforestation and increase our natural carbon-capturing capabilities. It’s never too late to start using your energy for good.
September 2022 Impact Update: Hydropower in Alaska—Lutak, Black Bear Lake, South Fork
In Alaska, there are currently over 40 hydroelectric projects powering 21% of the state’s electrical energy each year. Many of these projects help to power Alaskan’s homes with clean, reliable sources of renewable energy. This month, we’re highlighting the Lutak, Black Bear Lake, and South Fork hydroelectric projects!
To begin, Lutak is a 285 kW run-of-river operation that provides power to the Haines-Skagway region. It was the dominant hydroelectric project in the Skagway region when it began operating in 2002. Today, multiple hydroelectric projects in the area are even larger than the Lutak Hydro system such as Kasidaya Creek and the even larger Dewey Lakes project.
Black Bear Lake
Black Bear Lake is a whopping 4.5 MW hydroelectric project on the Prince of Wales Island where it supplies power to the local communities there. It was the first hydroelectric project in Alaska to be certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute to be low impact. The project was completed in 1995 and cost $10 million to permit and build.
Last but not least, the South Fork hydroelectric project is a 2 MW run-of-river operation that was constructed in 2004-2005 to support the Black Bear Lake project to supply more energy for the Prince of Wales island. The project was completed by the Alaska Power and Telephone company (AP&T) with grants from the Denali Commission and the Alaska Energy Authority. Other projects have also been supported by AP&T that we purchase renewable credits from.
Map of the Black Bear Lake Hydroelectric Project located at Black Bear Lake in Alaska. (Source: fisheries.noaa.gov)
What does it mean to be a low impact hydropower project?
Hydropower has many benefits as a renewable energy source, from providing clean electricity to flood control. However, hydropower dams themselves can have damaging environmental impacts that sometimes outweigh the benefits of being a clean energy source. They often damage the fish and wildlife around them, disrupting key natural ecosystems.
The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that works to reduce the impacts of hydropower generation by certifying hydropower projects that have reduced their negative environmental impacts according to the LIHI guidelines. The guidelines follow a science-based criteria set out by scientists and conservationists that sets the base for the utilities as well as the operators that review the certification criteria. After the project is checked and updated to qualify for the certification, power buyers and regulators can add the newly Low Impact Certified hydroelectric project into their regulations.
Black Bear Lake is one of the 182 projects that has received a certificate that includes: 160 fish passage structures, 1,100 recreation facilities and services, 4,000 megawatts of capacity, 16 terawatt hours of annual generation, and 11 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions. Only 11% of all the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulated facilities are LIHI Certified, and we are proud to support them!
As a Provision customer, you’re funding projects like these that not only help you offset your carbon footprint as individuals but also contribute to a growing effort to make climate action accessible to all. Progress must be made by businesses, organizations, and individuals because we are all stakeholders in protecting our environment to create a more sustainable planet as our home. With Provision, we make it easy to use your energy for good.
Every Provision Customer Makes a Difference
About CarbonBetter Impact Calculations:
*The typical home in your area uses 9,300 kWh of electricity per year.
Impact is calculated based on our customers’ billings in the impact month, but planting, funding, and offsetting may not happen in that month. These activities must align with planting seasons and project life cycles to be effective. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.