by Jeff Grout
Big news from the City of Tempe this week as the City Council voted to adopt a goal to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035, and a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The City Council approved the resolution for this goal at its March 8 Regular Council Meeting. The carbon reduction goal will be achieved in partnership with Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP), the utilities that provide power to the city. The strategy of sourcing energy from renewable sources applies to the city’s municipal electricity use for city buildings, streetlights, and water operations, and does not prescribe policy that involves residential and commercial utility customers.
Tempe will work collaboratively with APS and SRP to develop a responsible approach to the complex issues of meeting the city’s energy efficiency, fleet electrification and investments in clean technologies in an affordable way.
AZSA provided assistance and input to the City working group commissioned by Mayor Mark Mitchell and spearheaded by Council members Lauren Kuby and Randy Keating, who have been exploring the idea of increasing a 2014 City Council-authorized goal to have 20 percent of city operations using renewable energy by 2025.
Currently, the city has achieved 10 percent renewable energy by using rooftop solar on city facilities. It is projected that rooftop solar alone will save the city nearly $2.3 million over the next 20 years. Two additional rooftop solar projects are being developed for the Johnny G. Martinez and South Tempe water treatment plants, which should put them ahead of their original 2014 goal.
Kudos to Mayor Mark Mitchell and Council members Lauren Kuby, Randy Keating and David Schapira, the 4 forward thinking Tempe City Council members that voted for this resolution.
AZSA is committed to working with the City of Tempe to offer resources and assistance to make sure that they meet these innovative, but very achievable clean energy goals.