- Target: 100% renewable electricity by 2030
- Status: In progress
- RES: Solar power
- Implementation: In 2017, then Mayor Greg Lemon led the fight for clean energy in Abita Springs by bringing the small town into the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign. It was the first Louisiana town to commit to 100 percent renewable energy. The 100 campaign involves communities from all over the United States that have pledged to run entirely on renewable energy by 2050. Abita Springs planned to have every municipal building, every business, and every home powered by renewables in just 12 years. As participant in the Sierra Club, the town was provided with a network of knowledge, a framework for Abita Spring’s pledge, and publicity of their committed strategy. Ultimately, the clean 100% strategy was a response to avoiding the negative environmental impact caused by fracking in neighbouring communities, while embracing the ample sun which the town receives which made solar power good business sense.
Through grants from the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100 Percent Clean Energy initiative, work began on insulating buildings, installing LED lights, and replacing high current, high-voltage appliances. Over a hundred solar panels were placed on the town hall, producing 60 percent of the building’s electricity during peak hours and saving around $200 a month. To achieve the ambitious goal by 2030, the town sought to procure renewable electricity based on wind and solar from the regional utilities. Meanwhile, it focused on residential, business, and community solar and held public events to educate town leaders, civic organizations, business owners, and residents in order to introduce them to local solar installation companies. They also met with the planning and zoning commission, and the historic commission, to help homeowners more easily seek permits for solar panels.
- Population: 2,365 (2010)
- Area: 4.60 sq mi (11.91 km2)
- Link: Source: https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/05/this-70-year-old-republican-mayor-wants-to-prove-that-his-small-southern-town-can-go-green/
- © Town of Abita Springs