Greensburg, Kansas, USA

Greensburg, Kansas, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Wind farm, small solar installations and biogas and biodiesel generator, LEED Buildings, geothermal heating, charging stations for electric vehicles.
  • Implementation: Greensburg is a small rural town in Kansas, USA. It is a story of triumph from tragedy. In 2007, a tornado hit Greensburg and severely damaged or destroyed 90% of its structures. Shortly after this tragedy, the community, led by Mayor Bob Dixon decided to rebuild Greensburg as a sustainable community. A 'Long-Term Community Recovery Plan' was developed in 2007 and in 2008 Greensburg residents developed a 'Sustainable Comprehensive Plan' for the city’s next 20 years that would focus on cost-effective energy efficiency and on operating with 100% RE. Today, Greensburg Wind Farm supplies 12.5 MW of RE to the town. The RE production is complemented by small solar installations, while biogas and biodiesel generators are used for emergency backup. The town uses only about 1/3 of the power generated and excess power is fed back to the grid and offered as RE credits for other customers. Greensburg's Plan mandated that all city-owned buildings had to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating. This has resulted in 42% energy savings, with 13 community buildings saving a combined total of USD$200,000 in energy costs per year. Also many private buildings are exceeding 40% in energy savings. For the transport sector, the city encourages alternative and efficient transportation options, more pedestrian activity and promoting charging stations for electric vehicles. The creation of the Greensburg Plan essentially involved a range of stakeholders through many community meetings. It included city leaders, business owners, non-profit organisations (e.g. Greensburg Green Town), residents as well as experts from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). To implement Greenburg's Plan, the DOE/NREL team helped identify key steps: bringing stakeholders together, choosing the right leaders, creating a common vision, having goals, finding funds and writing an energy plan.
  • Population: 777 (2010)
  • Area: 1.48 sq mi (3.83 km2)
  • Link: http://www.greensburgks.org
Greensburg, Kansas, USA

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