Denver, Colorado, USA

Speer Boulevard, Denver, Colorado, USA

  • Target: 100% clean electricity city-wide by 2030 and 30% by 2020 for investor-owned utilities (state targets), 55% renewable energy by 2026 (electric utility - Xcel Energy target)
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy, electric mobility
  • Implementation: The City of Denver is teaming up with utility provider Xcel Energy to invest in a greener future for all. In a state historically dominated by coal and fracked gas, Colorado consumers are now demanding more sustainable energy. Xcel Colorado (Public Service Company of Colorado or PSCO) is laying out major investment plans for clean energy infrastructure. When Denver joined nine other Colorado communities in July 2018 in making the commitment to transition to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2030, it came on the basis of a Climate Action Plan created in 2015 that pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050. Under the leadership of Mayor Michael Hancock, the 80x50 Climate Action Plan would go beyond clean power. It would incorporate strategies for land use and development, home and business efficiency upgrades, and mass transit planning to meet the city’s 80% carbon reduction goal. The plan also includes provisions for a community solar program, a net-zero building code for new construction by 2035, and a fleet of 100% electric light-duty vehicles, taxis, and car shares by 2050.

    Reaching these goals will require strong strategic partnerships. Denver has received support from more than 50 nonprofits and businesses for its clean energy plans. Organisations include the Working Families Party, the Colorado Latino Forum, the Denver NAACP, the Democratic Party, and the Denver Labor Federation. The local utility, PSCO, has recently finalized encouraging agreements with Colorado communities. Given that Denver accounts for 25% of Xcel’s retail sales, the city has been able to act on community pressure urging the utility transition to clean energy. Xcel has since announced plans to replace two units at Colorado’s largest coal plant with a $2.5 billion investment in clean energy generation. The plan is expected to save more than $213 million, while reducing carbon emissions by 59%. By 2026, Xcel plans for 55% of the energy they generate in Colorado to come from renewable sources. As a model for the rest of the country, Colorado is the first state in which the renewable portfolio standard is set by public vote, rather than by legislation; its abundant wind and solar resources make the transition to clean energy both affordable and logical.
  • Population: 716,492 (2018)
  • Area: 154.97 sq mi (401.36 km2)
  • Link: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/environmental-health/environmental-quality/climate.html
Speer Boulevard, Denver, Colorado, USA

East Hampton, New York, USA

Maidstone Golf Club, East Hampton, New York, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable energy to meet electricity demand by 2020, and heating and transportation demand by 2030.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy and wind power.
  • Implementation: The town of East Hampton, New York is located in Suffolk County on the eastern end of Long Island's south shore. In May 2014, its Town Board voted unanimously to set the 100% goal, making it the first municipal government on the East Coast of the United States to set such a bold target. The goal was motivated by the need to address rising summer peak demand for electricity and to reduce the need for controversial, unattractive new transmission lines that were beginning to go up in the region. By improving energy efficiency and developing local renewable energy, money and jobs in the local economy would also be better ensured.

    The decision was in line with both state and local policy. According to the New York State Executive Order, climate change is to be mitigated by cutting greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors by 80 percent by 2050. In October 2013, the East Hampton Comprehensive Energy Vision was adopted which set specific energy efficiency and renewable energy targets and timelines.

    East Hampton is using available incentives for local renewable electricity development. The local utilities Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and PSEG Long Island (PSEG-LI) offers a 100 MW solar Feed-in-Tariff with a 7 cents per kwh if a minimum of 40 MW of solar proposals were received for the area. Additionally, LIPA/PSEG-LI had issued a 280 MW Request for Proposals (RFP's) for renewable generation.  The Town issued RFP's for solar proposals on town-owned land and received about 70 MW worth of proposals under both the feed-in tariff and the RFP. By May 2014, LIPA/PSEG-LI had already selected 32MW of solar proposals to be located in East Hampton.

    Wind farms by off-shore wind energy development group Deepwater One are estimated to supply Long Island with over several hundred MW of power. And if all of the projects selected by the town and the proposed offshore wind farm get constructed, the combined energy production from these facilities is estimated to be greater than the East Hampton's annual electricity consumption of 310,000 MWh. Included in this calculation is only 21% of the offshore wind farm's output as it would be shared by five East End towns.

    In May 2018, the renewable energy initiative 'Energize East Hampton' was launched to help connect residents and local businesses to programs that help them reduce their energy consumption, and as a result, lower their energy bills. The program also includes a Solarize campaign, which is supported by the State’s NY-Sun initiative with the aim of increasing the number of grid connected rooftop solar PV systems in East Hampton. Residents and businesses can install rooftop solar PV systems at a discounted price offered via the campaign.
  • Population: 22,009 (2016)
  • Area: 386.55 sq mi (1,001.15 km2)
  • Link: http://energizeeh.org
Maidstone Golf Club, East Hampton, New York, USA

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Mount Sequoyah, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

  • Target: 100% clean energy city government operations by 2030, city-wide by 2050
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy
  • Implementation: As the first city in Arkansas to commit to 100% clean energy, Fayetteville is leading the state in committing to clean energy goals. The City Council adopted the 100% target by7-1 in January 2018. Its mayor, Lioneld Jordan, took the pledge for the city further by adopting a community-wide 100% clean energy commitment as part of the city’s Energy Action Plan, which outlines bold steps to transition the city to 100% renewable energy sources by 2050. The plan lays out goals and strategies for energy efficient transportation, buildings, waste management, carbon emissions reduction, and more. The mayor’s vision is supported by the University of Arkansas, home of the Razorbacks and the city’s largest employer. The city is also continually exploring clean energy solutions with its existing utility companies, Ozarks Electric and SWEPCO. It is simultaneously looking at solar investments and other energy- efficient upgrades for municipal buildings. It is also launching a bike-share program, strategizing to increase urban tree planting, and working out how to use funds from the Volkswagen settlement to invest in electric-vehicle charging stations for its downtown area.
  • Population: 86,751 city, 549,128 metro (2018)
  • Area: 55.41 sq mi (143.50 km2)
  • Link: http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/3234/Climate-and-Energy
Mount Sequoyah, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
  • (Farmers utilising solar in southern Arkansas)

FortZED, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

The Oval, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

  • Target: Net Zero Energy District
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar PV, biogas, storage technologies such as fuel cells, and smart meters.
  • Implementation: Fort Collins, Colorado is a municipality located approximately 57 miles north of the state's capitol city of Denver. In 2007, the UniverCity Connections Sustainable Energy Task Force, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, proposed the development of a "Net Zero Energy District". It would be a district within the municipality that would be a model for generating as much electricity as is consumed with renewable sources, combined with conservation, efficiency, and smart grid technologies. Named FortZED, the new district would cover an area of approximately 2 square miles and include the main campus of Colorado State University and downtown businesses and homes. Although completed in 2014, FortZED already showcased a demonstration project by 2011, a which showed that five businesses in the district could collectively reduce peak-load demand on a micro-grid by more than 20 percent during test periods over more than four weeks. The project combined a range of energy solutions, including efficiency, smart meters, demand response, solar PV, biogas, and storage technologies such as fuel cells. Natural gas was used as back up generation. The project also featured electric vehicle charging stations at city offices, and EV car batteries were considered for backup energy during peak-demand periods. This demonstration project was part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Renewable Distributed Systems Integration program.

    FortZED is led by a collaborative team of three entities: Fort Collins Utilities, UniverCity Connections, and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, a local economic development organization. Funding sources have included a U.S. Department of Energy grant for $6.3 million, plus nearly $5 million in matching funds and in kind services, along with a $778,000 New Energy Communities grant from Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, and $2 million in local matching funds.

    Today, FortZED represents about 10 -15% of Fort Collins Utility’s electric distribution system and serves approximately 7,200 residential and commercial electric utility customers.
  • Population: 164,207 (2016)
  • Area: 57.05 sq mi (147.77 km2)
  • Link: https://www.fcgov.com/fortzed/
The Oval, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Georgetown, Texas, USA

Georgetown, Texas, USA

  • Target: Powered by 100 % renewable energy.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Solar and windpower.
  • Implementation: The city of Georgetown in Texas is powered by 100 % renewable energy  through long-term deals to supply the city with solar and wind power. The decision was made when it was found that renewable energy would be cheaper and more reliable than fossil fuels. The cost of solar panels had fallen by more than 63 % since 2010, with wind showing similar declines. The intervention would secure fixed electricity rates similar to the current rate of about 9.6 cents per kilowatt-hour and would protect the city against fluctuations in the price of fossil fuels. Renewables would require much less water use than traditional power generation, which is a great advantage in drier states such as Texas. Investing in the city’s own renewable energy sources would also create great local economic opportunities. Many companies, especially those in the high-tech sector, have invested in green sources of power for their office and manufacturing facilities. Georgetown’s 100% renewable power supply have helped companies achieve their sustainability goals at a competitive price. A major success has been the city's agreement with SunEdison, a multinational solar energy company, to purchase the power generated from a 150MW solar farm. The deal with SunEdison will be enough to power more than 24,000 homes every year for the next 25 years. Coupled with a 2014 agreement with EDF to purchase a 140-megawatts wind power plant, Georgetown will be able to meet all of its electricity needs without coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear power.
  • Population: 55,716 (2014)
  • Area: 54.3 sq mi (141 km2)
  • Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/28/georgetown-texas-renewable-green-energy
Georgetown, Texas, USA

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

  • Target: To become a fossil fuel free city, at least in the electricity sector, by 2020.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar photovoltaic systems, and geothermal systems.
  • Implementation: Grand Rapids is one of the most populous cities in the US state of Michigan.  In 2010, the electricity production was mostly based on coal burning power plants and about 20% came from renewable energies. To achieve the 100%-RE target in the electricity sector, as announced by the mayor in 2005, Grand Rapids has implemented several RE projects. In 2010, the US Department of Energy awarded the city a ‘Congressially Directed Project Grand’. The city has since received financial support to implement photovoltaic systems. It has installed geothermal systems at two fire stations in the city. The US Environmental Protection Agency has also provided financial support to convert a former landfill site into a large scale solar photovoltaic farm.
  • Population: 198,829 (2017)
  • Area: 45.31 sq mi (117.35 km2)
  • Link: https://www.experiencegr.com/about-grand-rapids/green-grand-rapids/
Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
  • Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids © Steven Depolo CC BY 2.0

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

Hawaii, USA

Waikiki, Hawaii, USA

  • Target: 100% RE by 2045 in the electricity sector, with several interim benchmarks.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar power and wind power.
  • Implementation: In 2012, Hawaii was importing 93% of the energy it consumed and in 2013, the state had the highest electricity prices in the nation, more than three times higher than the average electricity price in the mainland states. In 2012, 71% of the electricity produced in the Hawaii was generated with oil, and in 2012 only 18% with renewable energy sources. By 2014, cost competitiveness of renewable energy technology was driving considerable increase in renewable energy uptake on the Hawaii islands. According to the US EIA, wind is estimated to be able to deliver electricity at a price of 7 ¢/kWh, similarly geothermal at approximately 10 ¢/kWh and utility scale solar PV at approximately 16 ¢/kWh. This is compared to the price of oil-generated electricity which was averaging 34 ¢/kWh in 2014. From 2007 to 2013, solar power generation across the islands went from 8 GWh in 2007 to 404 GWh, while wind power generation more than doubled. In 2015, a joint House-Senate committee in Hawaii agreed on House Bill 623 to set a 100% RE target and became the first US state to commit to this goal. In May of that year, Hawaii’s state legislature committed that the target be reached by 2045, with an interim goals of 30 % RE by 2020, 40 % RE by 2030, and 70 % RE by 2040. (Hawaii's renewable energy plan builds on earlier energy policy frameworks established in 2009, which set two definitive targets: cover 40% of the island needs for electricity only with renewable energy sources by 2030, and at the same time reduce electricity consumption by 30% by implementing Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards.)
  • Population: 1,427,538 (2017)
  • Area: 10,931 sq mi (28,311 km2)
  • Link: http://www.transverter.com/REACH7.pdf
Waikiki, Hawaii, USA

Ithaca, NY, USA

Ithaca, New York, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Varied (via renewable energy certificates)
  • Implementation: In January 2012, the City of Ithaca, NY began purchasing Green-e Energy-certified renewable energy credits (RECs) to cover all the electricity demand of its municipal buildings, street lights and traffic lights with renewable electricity. The REC purchase was conducted through Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance Inc. (MEGA), a non-profit aggregator of gas and electricity in which Ithaca participates. Energy aggregators like MEGA bundle participants in order to be able to build buying power and bid for lower prices. In purchasing RECs, the city has helped increase the market for renewable-sourced generation facilities, decrease the generation of greenhouse gases, and offset the city government's emissions. In February 2012, following the implementation of the RECs contract, the City joined EPA's Green Power Partnership program committing to continue to pursue and support renewable energy sources. The city already has a history of implementing renewable energy projects. In 1996, the city installed a geothermal heating and cooling system at the Ithaca Youth Bureau building, which is still being used today, thus reducing energy costs and the use of fossil fuels for heating/cooling. In 2011, the city was awarded a grant to install solar thermal hot water systems on 2 city buildings.
  • Population: 53,661 urban, 101,564 metro (2010)
  • Area: 24.581 sq mi (63.66 km2) urban, 474.649 sq mi (1,229.34 km2) metro
  • Link: https://www.cityofithaca.org/425/Energy
Ithaca, New York, USA

Kodiak, Alaska, USA

Kodiak, Alaska, USA

  • Target: Produce 100% of the town’s electrical demand with renewable energy by 2020.
  • Status: Achieved - By 2014, 99.7% of the electricity came from wind and hydropower.
  • RES: Wind turbines, smart battery system, grid integration, hydropower.
  • Implementation: In 2008, a renewable energy fund was convened by the State of Alaska via the Alaska Energy Authority. Since, a total of US$55.6 million has been directly and indirectly invested through cooperation with Kodiak Electric Association (KEA).
  • Population: 15,000
  • Area: 13.05 km²
  • Link: https://www.city.kodiak.ak.us/
Kodiak, Alaska, USA