April 2012 - The City of Cincinnati, Ohio announced the launch of its community choice aggregation (CCA) program, which will provide a 100 percent green electricity option for the city's eligible residents and small businesses. Percentage of income payment plan customers, as well as small business customers who use more than 700,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year are not eligible to participate in the program. CCA allows local governments to aggregate electricity demand within their jurisdictions in order to procure alternative energy supplies while maintaining existing transmission and distribution services.
Cincinnati selected FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) to be the city's green power provider, and will now negotiate a contract for a 100 percent green electricity supply. The city's CCA program is expected to begin in June, and it is estimated that eligible residential households who remain in the program will save about $133 per year on electricity costs. The city's program is an opt-out program, which means that eligible customers will be automatically enrolled in the program, and must decline if they do not want to participate.
A portion of FES's green power product will come from local renewable energy sources, including renewable energy certificates generated from the Cincinnati Zoo Solar canopy project.
News Release -
Cincinnati Becomes First Major City to Offer 100% Green Electricity to Residents
Additional Information -
City of Cincinnati Aggregation
May 2011 - The Cincinnati Zoo installed a 1.56-megawatt (MW) solar canopy, generating power for the facility and providing shade for 800 parking spots at the main entrance. The solar installation consists of 6,400 solar panels designed to generate 20 percent of the zoo's electricity and save an estimated $1.5 million in electricity costs over 10 years.
The solar project will also include an educational kiosk near the zoo's Go Green garden that will allow visitors to learn about the performance of the solar arrays and benefits of solar energy.
Green energy initiatives are underway at the Philadelphia Zoo, as well, through a 2-year renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase from GDF Suez. The REC purchase represents the equivalent of 25 percent of the zoo's annual energy demand being supplied from renewable resources.
News Release - Cincinnati Zoo and Melink Celebrate the Largest Publicly Accessible Urban Solar Array in the Country
News Release - Philadelphia Zoo to be Powered by Green Energy