March 2013 - The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently announced the recipients of this year's Climate Leadership Awards. Among the 23 recipients were Boulder County, Colorado; the City of Austin, Texas; the Port of San Diego, California; and the Sonoma County Water Agency, California. Each of these entities has integrated renewable energy resources into their local communities.
Boulder County is undertaking the installation of 900 kilowatts (kW) of solar photovoltaic capacity on county buildings to reach its 2020 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 92 percent from 2005. The county is also making solar energy readily available to residents through the construction of a 500-kW community solar garden.
Similarly, the Port of San Diego is turning to solar power as means to reduce its environmental impact. The port aims to reduce its emissions by 25 percent by 2035 and is doing so in part through the installation of 170 kW of solar. Additionally, the port has begun using hybrid vehicles and installed 10 electric vehicle charging stations.
The City of Austin has committed to increasing its renewable portfolio to 35 percent of its power mix and has shown progress by powering city-owned facilities with 100 percent renewable energy.
The Sonoma County Water Agency is taking its efforts county-wide by initiating Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for renewable energy building upgrades, and developing a Community Choice Aggregation program to facilitate the development of local renewable energy resources.
News Release -
Four Forward-Thinking Local Governments Earn EPA Climate Leadership Awards
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EPA Climate Leadership Awards
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February 2013 - On February 22, 2013, Clean Energy Collective broke ground on a 500-kilowatt (kW) community-owned solar array in Xcel Energy's Colorado service area. The array will service roughly 100 residential, commercial, and nonprofit customers. The project is a result of Xcel Energy's Solar Rewards Community program, which is a solar garden initiative bringing renewable energy to customers who are unable to put solar panels on their properties. The Solar Rewards Community program allows any Xcel customer to purchase solar panels in the array; the customer then receives credits directly on their electricity bill for the power produced. The program was made possible by the passing of Rep. Claire Levy's House Bill 10-1342.
News Article -
Boulder County to see groundbreaking on first community solar array
Contact: General Information, 800-646-0323
November 2010 - Boulder County, Colorado, is installing a biomass burner to heat its county jail. The biomass burner will be powered by approximately 800 tons of woody material per year, thinned from the county's open space lands, and is expected to save the facility from using 78,000 therms of natural gas annually. The county was able to make the investment by selling Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, which allow bondholders to receive the federal tax benefits instead of traditional bond interest, thereby lowering the cost to the county to borrow money.
News Article - Installation of Boulder County Jail's biomass burner underway
November 2005 - The City of Boulder, Colorado announced that it exceeded its goals for a recent campaign designed to increase the number of residents and businesses purchasing green power. During the roughly two-month "Wind Power Challenge," 1,150 customers signed up to purchase wind power from local renewable energy suppliers, far exceeding the campaign's goal of 500 new subscribers. When combined with the more than 5,700 pre-existing green power customers, about 16% of the city's residents and businesses now purchase green power. Collectively, these purchases represent nearly 5% of the community's total electricity needs.
Due in part to the success of the challenge, which was sponsored by the city and local non-profit Western Resource Advocates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership has designation the city a "Green Power Community," making Boulder the first community in Colorado to receive this distinction.
The following local renewable energy suppliers participated in the city's wind power challenge: Clean and Green; Community Energy, Inc.; Renewable Choice Energy; and Xcel Energy through its Windsource program.
News Release - Boulder exceeds goals of Wind Challenge; Becomes Green Power Community
News Release - City of Boulder challenges community to increase wind power purchases
Western Resource Advocates Contact: Susan Innis, (303) 444-1188, ext 221
City of Boulder Contacts:
Carolyn Weinreich, Office of Environmental Affairs, (303) 441-1914
Jodie Carroll, Media Relations, (303) 441-3155