updated 10/22/2010 12:16:21 PM ET 2010-10-22T16:16:21

HOUSTON, Oct. 22, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Element Markets announced today it will supply more than 100 million kilowatt-hours a year of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), as part of an integrated program to reduce CPS' impact on the environment and educate students. Chicago Public Schools was honored today at the 10th Annual U.S. EPA Green Power Leadership Awards as one of 18 award winners nationally recognized for advancing the green power market. In conjunction with its enrollment in the EPA Green Power Partnership, Chicago Public Schools received the prestigious Green Power Purchaser of the Year Award.   Coinciding with the 2010-2011 school year, the purchase makes Chicago Public Schools the largest K-12 purchaser of green power in the United States. EPA co-sponsors the Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions.

"We commend Chicago Public Schools for this historical purchase and applaud their leadership in support of renewable energy and education for its students," said Angela Schwarz, President and Chief Operating Officer of Element Markets. "We are pleased to have been selected by the Board of the Chicago Public Schools. We share their vision to transform lives by building a foundation for excellence and contributing to a global society."

The EPA estimates that Chicago Public Schools' REC purchase will have the equivalent environmental impact of taking more than 20,000 passenger cars off the road each year or avoiding the amount of electricity needed to power more than 13,500 average American homes annually. The purchase from Element Markets will be certified by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e® Energy program which certifies and verifies green power products.

"EPA congratulates our leadership award winners for demonstrating by example the importance of using clean, renewable energy," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "By using green power, these winners are leading the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment while helping advance the market for renewable energy."

Supplying RECs and educational materials to Chicago Public Schools is an extension of Element Markets' commitment to clean energy production in Illinois. Having significantly expanded their presence in the state, Element Markets currently manages renewable energy credits and is actively developing new renewable energy projects. 

Element Markets was recently named "US Emissions House of the Year" by Energy Risk Magazine and was named the recipient of "Best Trading Company in North American RECs - 2009" by Environmental Finance magazine and "#1 U.S. Renewable Energy Credit Dealer - 2009" for the second consecutive year by Energy Risk magazine. In addition, the company has been awarded multiple contracts from the Illinois Power Agency to supply RECs in support of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Element Markets intends to continue its development of the Renewable Energy Credits markets and looks forward to the successful development of Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas reduction projects.

About Element Markets

Element Markets, LLC is the leading developer and supplier of environmental credits in North America, with integrated trading expertise in the greenhouse gas, renewable energy and emissions credit markets. Since its inception in 2005, Element Markets has built one of the industry's largest diversified development portfolios of wind, solar, methane and greenhouse gas mitigation projects. The company provides structured environmental compliance and optimization services to prominent corporate and institutional clients and was named Emissions House of Year for 2010 by Energy Risk Magazine. Element Markets is based in Houston, Texas. Company website:  www.elementmarkets.com.

About Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 410,000 students in more than 670 schools. It is the third-largest school district in the nation.

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