Resolution 36 was co-sponsored by Mayor Biskupski and Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. It specifically cites wind, solar, geothermal, and wave technology as renewable sources cities should be embracing to combat climate change.
Posts tagged ‘clean energy’
Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski and a coalition of U.S. mayors joined with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign in a new effort to engage and recruit mayors to endorse a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in cities throughout the country.
The initiative, “Mayors for 100% Clean Energy,” is led by Mayor Biskupski; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin; and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The mayors function as co-chairs of the effort.
Salt Lake City announced its 100 percent goal last July when the Mayor and City Council passed a joint resolution establishing the goals of transitioning the community’s electricity supply to 100 percent clean energy by 2032, followed by an overall reduction of community greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2040. Read more
Salt Lake City, along with local government partners Park City and Summit County, is exploring creative new pathways towards securing more clean energy for the community.
The SLC City Council and elected officials from the other two communities recently adopted an Interlocal Agreement that commits the municipalities to collaborate and jointly fund a feasibility study. The study will evaluate renewable energy options, impacts, and opportunities to create a cleaner electricity supply for the long-term.
The Interlocal Agreement reiterated what many of us already know–that energy choices have a notable impact on public health, including the economic and social well-being of current and future residents. The Agreement also noted that Utah has an abundant supply of solar energy, being one of the 10 sunniest states in the U.S., and that a recent report from The Solar Foundation revealed that there are already over 2,500 solar jobs in Utah.
The communities are jointly seeking a firm to provide technical assistance and a feasibility report this year. Summit County has published a Request for Proposals. Results of the study could be available as early as late 2016.
Transitioning to renewable energy is essential for the City to meet its climate and air quality goals. Emissions from electricity generation create over 50 percent of the Salt Lake City community carbon footprint and over 75 percent of the carbon pollution from local government operations.
Mayor Biskupski recently set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity used in government operations by 2032. This new partnership with Park City and Summit County includes an expanded scope to help us get there. As a whole, the study will evaluate clean energy options for the entire community, including all homes and businesses.
Tackling climate change requires fresh perspectives, diverse collaborations and a profound transition to cleaner energy sources.
Join us on Thursday, February 4th to explore these themes and what they mean for Utah. We’ll be joined by two prominent local leaders, Sarah Wright and Matt Pacenza, who will share their insights on clean energy and climate solutions.
We’ll start the evening with a 60-minute screening of Episode 6 of the Emmy-award winning series Years of Living Dangerously. This will be followed by a 30-minute panel with our local experts. Episode 6 of the series focuses on methane leaks from natural gas operations, lobbying forces in America and home-grown renewable energy solutions.
Watch the trailer:
Sarah Wright is the founder and Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy, a non-profit partnering to build the new clean energy economy in Utah for the past 15 years. She leads a team that collaborates with government, private sector and other community partners to stop energy waste while simultaneously building a smarter energy future.
Sarah is an intervener in regulatory proceedings and an expert witness in legislative hearings, testifying in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Bradley University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Utah.
Matt Pacenza joined HEAL Utah five years ago and began serving as Executive Director in 2015. HEAL is a non-profit that promotes renewable energy and advocates for enhanced public health while opposing toxic harms to the environment.
Matt has managed HEAL’s policy agenda on nuclear waste, energy and clean air issues and now leads the organization’s staff, program and budgets. Matt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from New York University. From the east coast, he now happily calls “Sugarhood” his home.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Public Service Commission has approved a new program that allows customers to subscribe to some or all of their electricity from solar power. Rocky Mountain Power sought approval from the state last June for the subscriber solar program which gives customers a choice to get their power from the sun even if they cannot afford rooftop solar panels or live in apartments or condos.
Using a competitive bidding process, Rocky Mountain Power is in final negotiations with a developer to build a 20-megawatt solar farm here in Utah. The solar farm is expected to be built and on-line in late 2016.
“Utility-scale solar is the most cost-effective way to build solar and the bidding process will help us select the best economical choice for our customers,” said Lucky Morse, Rocky Mountain Power Regional Business Management Director. “It’s exciting because the pricing is very competitive and will offer customers a terrific value.”
Participants will be able to subscribe in 200-kilowatt hour blocks up to their total usage; the 20-megawatt solar farm will provide 20,000 blocks. Residential customers will receive a “locked-in” generation rate of 7.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, plus about 4 cents for transmission and distribution, totaling 11.7 cents per kilowatt-hour.
For example, a typical Utah customer uses 742 kilowatt-hours monthly and would pay an additional $1.26 each month (average) for one solar block. The benefits and costs of the program will vary depending on how much electricity a customer uses.
“High-energy users in the summer may actually pay less money for their energy because electricity costs are as high as 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour,” added Morse. “The ‘locked-in’ rate is also a hedge if electricity prices go up in the future.”
The subscriber solar program is a great alternative for people who are renting, cannot afford solar panels, have homes that are not suited for rooftop solar, are restricted due to HOA rules, or simply don’t want rooftop solar systems. Subscribers will not have to pay upfront costs, make long-term commitments or deal with the ongoing maintenance of installed solar panels.
Salt Lake City intends to subscribe to a sizable amount of solar for its municipal operations to lock in the energy portion of the city’s bills for up to 20 years.
“Salt Lake City supports this new program aimed at expanding the portfolio of renewable energy options for our residents,” said Vicki Bennett, Salt Lake City Sustainability Director. “Subscriber Solar offers a choice for residents and business owners who are unable to install solar, but still desire a direct connection to clean energy sources. We believe this program can be a major catalyst for ongoing transitions to renewable energy in Utah.”
The voluntary program will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers will be able to subscribe to the program soon. Subscribers would only pay a termination fee if they cancel their subscription before three years after they enroll.
The program will also be available for commercial and industrial customers. Customers can get more details and sign up to receive updates and put their names on a list indicating they would like to subscribe to the program at rockymountainpower.net/subscriber.
This fall, Utah Clean Energy and the University of Utah’s Sustainability Office are hosting a first-of-its kind lecture series featuring three climate change innovators. Hear these national experts speak about their outside-the-box approaches to combat climate change and shape a positive future for the world.
Race car driver and Sundance film star, Leilani Münter, will kick off the series on September 22nd at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. When you think race car driving, you usually don’t think environmental activist – unless it’s Leilani Münter. Learn how this fearless female NASCAR driver wants to bring 75 million racing fans over to the “green side.” Her motto is “Live is short. Race hard. Live green.”
The award-winning national director of Green For All, Vien Truong, will speak on October 21st. Truong is one of the nation’s foremost experts fighting for climate justice in low-income communities. Hear from Troung on how we can safeguard the most vulnerable from the worst impacts of climate change.
Bestselling author of Green Sense for Your Home and founder of organicARCHITECT, Eric Corey Freed, will speak on November 5th. Freed promotes both an organic and ecological approach to design and is considered a pioneer in the tradition of Organic Architecture.
Sign up for this three part lecture series on innovative solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges. Tickets are $5 per event and free for University of Utah students (registration required).
SLCgreen director touts city’s efforts toward sustainability, meets with President Obama during Utah visit (FOX13 Story)
SLCgreen Director Vicki Bennett was recently profiled by FOX 13 News during President’s Obama’s visit to Utah. Click on the screenshot above to view the video. Here is the transcript:
SALT LAKE CITY — Vicki Bennett has been with Salt Lake City for 14 years, and she said this city in particular has been on the forefront of sustainability.
The word sustainability can mean different things to different people, but for Bennett and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s administration, it comes down a pretty basic concept.
She said: “How do we ensure we keep Salt Lake City the best we can, for now and for our children? We want people to want to continue to want to live here, we want a healthy environment.”
During Becker’s nearly two terms, Bennett has helped lead the mayor’s sustainability team by developing solar energy projects, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging local business owners to meet air quality and energy targets by evaluating their building’s energy use, setting energy-saving goals, and conducting energy-saving improvement projects.
“And what’s so exciting is that Salt Lake’s sustainability program, if you talk to our peers, is considered one of the top 10 in the nation, for a small city,” Bennett said.
Those efforts have also been noticed by leaders in Washington D.C.
Mayor Becker and President Barack Obama share a similar vision regarding sustainability, and it has helped them forge a strong, working relationship. Bennett said that in turn helps the effort back in Salt Lake City.
“He’s been able to get us a voice in the White House,” she said. “Because of that, we’ve been able to get funding for grants that a lot of cities aren’t even invited to apply for.”
Bennett knows there will soon be a new mayor but said she believes Salt Lake City’s advances in walkable housing, transportation, solar power and recycling are here to stay.
“We always have to be improving our environment, we always have to be ensuring we have healthy air to breathe, that we have water quality and water quantity for our residents,” she said.
Bennett was able to briefly meet President Obama Thursday night during his visit to Utah, and she said the honor gave everyone on their staff a renewed sense of determination to move forward with sustainability efforts.
Mayor Ralph Becker, Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett, Rocky Mountain Power’s Alene Bentley and Salt Lake City Police Officer Bill Silvers gathered today to mark the completion of three landmark solar projects at the City’s solar farm.
“Salt Lake City made a commitment to reduce our impact on air quality by embracing sustainable energy and transportation initiatives,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Today we celebrate three projects that represent a huge leap forward for the City and our community. Not only are we flipping the switch on our new solar farm – which will generate over 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of sustainable energy per year – we are marking two new rooftop installations on Plaza 349 and the Public Safety Building.”
Over 4,000 solar panels were installed on the three project sites, which will generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours annually. Generating an equivalent amount of electricity would require over 1.8 million pounds of coal each year. All solar panels installed have a 25-year power output warranty and expected life of up to 40 years, protecting the City’s investment for many years to come.
In total, the three projects will reduce CO2 emissions from City operations by three million pounds per year, while also creating a positive air quality impact.
Public Safety Building: Rooftop
The roof of the Public Safety Building is covered by over 1,000 solar panels with a total capacity of 350 kilowatts. These panels complement the 30 kilowatt solar canopy that shades visitors entering the building and help the project achieve a net zero energy status. In addition to providing power for daily operations, 30 percent of the rooftop solar panels have been wired to provide emergency electricity directly to the building in the event of a power blackout.
Public Safety Building: Solar Farm
This 3,000 panel ground-mounted solar array was developed to help offset the energy and carbon emissions associated with the new Public Safety Building. Located west of downtown Salt Lake City, this solar installation is the largest ever completed by Salt Lake City Corporation. The 1.2 million kilowatt-hours generated annually is enough to power 130 average Utah homes from now through at least 2040.
Plaza 349: Rooftop
Plaza 349 in downtown Salt Lake City is home to a variety of City operations, including Engineering, Transportation and Technology. The work of these employees will now be powered in part by clean, renewable energy thanks to a funding award from the Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky program, made possible by more than 38,000 Blue Sky customers in Utah. The City used Blue Sky Community Project Funds to place 136 solar panels atop the roof of this recently renovated building. The public is invited to track production of this solar array in real-time online.
And the City isn’t stopping here! We’re exploring a wide range of sustainable energy sources, from solar to small-scale hydroelectric and everything in between. Stay tuned…
The City will participate in a special networking session called “Clean Energy and Transport Solutions in an Urban Hemisphere: Lessons from the Americas.”
Over the past few months, Salt Lake City has been collaborating with San Jose, Costa Rica to share experiences & lessons learned from the two cities’ alternative transportation programs. During the session, the City will share our lessons learned from running the Clear the Air Challenge and the “twinning” process with San Jose.