Author: Willa Howe

Wind Power RECs Meet Two Organizations’ Goals

rhinocerous at zoo

The places people gather can have a tremendous impact on the culture of the surrounding community. Visitors to special attractions, like zoos, are there to encounter something outside and above normal everyday experiences. This level of interest and excitement provides parks with a powerful opportunity to influence – a fact not lost on leadership at the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).

The Detroit Zoo is Michigan’s largest paid family attraction and draws 1.4 million visitors annually. The Zoo has a goal to provide this broad audience with educational opportunities that lead to the appreciation and stewardship of nature. DZS Greenprint is one way they work toward that goal.

bird and lion

Greenprint is a comprehensive plan that aims at reducing impact as well as increasing green literacy at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. It sets operational standards for  water and waste management as well as energy. At the Zoo visitors will see solar panels on buildings as well as staff driving solar powered carts. It is also home to the nation’s first zoo-based dry biodigester, which processes waste and turns it into power for the animal hospital. However, needing more power is a fact of life for a facility as large as the 125 acre park. That’s why DZS board member Dr. Terry S. Harvill proposed the idea of matching the balance of the electricity used with clean, renewable wind energy.

Dr. Harvill knew that supporting wind energy by purchasing Green‑e Energy certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from 3Degrees would be an effective way to lower the Zoo’s carbon footprint and help meet energy-based goals outlined in Greenprint. As a Vice President of International and Merchant Development for ITC Holdings Harvill pursued the idea as part of ITC’s Charitable Giving Program.

“We have a shared a commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Harvill. “ITC is proud to support the DZS’ sustainability goals by facilitating access to renewable energy.” ITC’s donation lowers the DZS’s carbon footprint by 9,102 metric tons each year. This has an environmental impact similar to:

  • growing 233,386 trees each year for 10 years
  • or taking cars 1,916 off the road for 1 year
  • or not using 21,168 barrels of oil

Wind energy is a clean, renewable resource that can be harnessed wherever the wind blows. Each megawatt of renewable energy generated equals one renewable energy certificate (REC). Selling RECs helps energy producers recoup the expense of investing in alternative technologies which encourages development of cleaner power projects.

About ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) is the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems and lower the overall cost of delivered energy. Through its regulated operating subsidiaries ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along approximately 15,600 circuit miles of transmission line. ITC’s grid development focus includes growth through regulated infrastructure investment as well as domestic and international expansion through merchant and other commercial development opportunities. For more information, please visit ITC’s website at

Brenda Hopewell Joins 3Degrees as Director of Strategy and Market Development

brenda-pr3Degrees, a renewable energy products and services company, is pleased to announce that Brenda Hopewell has recently joined 3Degrees as the Director of Strategy and Market Development. In this role, Ms. Hopewell will work with company leadership to facilitate growth across the utility market.

With a strong background in the utility industry, energy markets, and business development, Ms. Hopewell has over seven years of experience in working with utilities across the nation. Most recently, Ms. Hopewell was a senior manager at PECI, a leading energy efficiency services company. In that role, she was responsible for leading market development and strategy for the firm’s operations in California. Previous to PECI, Ms. Hopewell held a variety of marketing and business development roles in industries including commercial real estate and high tech.

“I am delighted to join 3Degrees, a leader in developing and implementing utility green power programs,” said Hopewell. “This is an exciting time for the renewable energy industry and I look forward to assisting as 3Degrees launches the next generation of utility program offerings.”

In this new role, Ms. Hopewell will be charged with deepening utility customer relationships and market knowledge. She will engage with North American utilities on 3Degrees current and future offering and will be a key contributor in developing new products for these clients.

“Brenda is a big picture, strategic thinker with a strong understanding of the utility landscape. We are thrilled to welcome her to the 3Degrees team,” said Adam Capage, Vice President, Utility Partnerships.

3Degrees Expands Community Solar Offerings

From advisory services to program management to marketing: 3Degrees offers both a la carte and turnkey Community Solar solutions 

3Degrees, which has offered Community Solar marketing and advisory services since 2012, has recently expanded its offerings to include additional a la carte as well as turnkey program management and development services.  These offerings help clients address issues such as product design, project sizing and location, ownership, customer acquisition and retention, and billing and risk mitigation.

“Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, 3Degrees works with each client to provide custom services that specifically meet their needs,” says Dan Kalafatas, CEO.  “For some, that may be a full end-to-end solution.  But we have found that many utilities appreciate the ability to tap into our expertise for specific challenges they may be having.”

While Community Solar is a hot topic and is starting to experience significant growth, many utilities are unsure of how to get started or how to best manage and grow their program. The Community Solar offerings of 3Degrees are designed to help utilities investigate options and opportunities enabling a utility to design a program with confidence.  Then, once an approach has been selected, 3Degrees helps clients turn that plan into a reality.

“We see community solar as a logical extension of utility renewable energy programs,” said Adam Capage, Vice President of Utility Partnerships at 3Degrees.  “Our clients come to us for help in building and launching programs that provide their customers additional options at low cost and risk.”


3Degrees Named Supplier of the Year

Innovative projects and products help secure seventh win 

EPA Green Power Partner logo

3Degrees Group, Inc. received its seventh Green Power Leadership Award today from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power suppliers for outstanding efforts, initiatives and programs that significantly advance the nation’s voluntary green power market.  EPA will present 3Degrees with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2014 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Sacramento, California on December 3, 2014.

Green Power Leadership award presentation

Steve McDougal (L) and Adam Capage (R) receive award

“We are honored to again be named Supplier of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Steve McDougal, President of 3Degrees.  “We think this seventh win is directly tied to two things: 3Degrees’ extensive outreach capabilities that blanket the country in one-to-one conversations about renewable energy and our continued focus on projects that are meaningful to our customers and have lasting positive impacts on the communities where they are located.”

In fact, 3Degrees is known for supporting innovative projects that generate more than just renewable energy. The projects also often hold additional benefits, such as:

  • Developing leading edge technology through the nation’s first grid-tied tidal power project
  • Reducing the environmental impact of farming and waste management
  • Funding needed social services through creative revenue payment arrangements
  • Increasing visibility in high-profile locations such as schools 

“EPA is pleased to recognize 3Degrees with a Green Power Supplier of the Year award for its leadership in expanding the nation’s renewable energy industry,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Through its support and development of new renewable energy capacity, 3Degrees is helping to address climate change and put our country on a path to a future powered by renewable resources.”

In 2013, 3Degrees supported utility green power and carbon offset programs that serve 215,000 residential customers through its 11 utility partners in 12 states. The company also delivered more than seven billion kWh of Green-e Certified and Green-e Eligible RECs to meet demand of direct commercial customers and utility green pricing programs, sourcing RECs from over 400 facilities in 25 states.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations collectively purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities.  For additional information, please visit

About the Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year; Sustained Excellence in Green Power; On-site Generation; Green Power Purchasing; Green Power Community of the Year; and Green Power Supplier of the Year. EPA’s Green Power Partner awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. EPA’s Green Power Supplier awards recognize green power suppliers for outstanding efforts, initiatives and programs that significantly advance the development of green power sources serving the voluntary market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information please visit