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Georgetown, Texas, has become something of a celebrity in the green energy world for achieve your 100% renewable energy goal in just three years, and now the city is working to go further. Not content with buying 100% renewable energy, they design a plan for fill your city with solar panels.

Texas, the epicenter of U.S. oil and gas production for generations, is beginning to flirt with clean energy. Georgetown only has 65,000 residents, but it’s a pike in the heart of American oil.

Georgetown is proof that renewables can save taxpayers money.

Last fall, The Guardian spoke to Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross, who said they started in 2014 with an investment in wind power, as they negotiated power supply. At the time, the cost difference between natural gas and renewables was negligible, but wind and solar had a secret weapon that natural gas could not match: long-term tariff guarantees (20- 25 years), compared to only 7 for natural gas.

Here’s a summary of the Texas Tribune’s plan:

The city has announced a 25-year deal with SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy company, to purchase 150 megawatts of solar power starting next year. The company said it would build a solar farm in West Texas to meet demand.

Last year, Georgetown signed a contract for 144 megawatts of wind power through 2039. This power comes from an EDF Renewables wind farm 50 miles west of Amarillo.

The bet has already paid off. In 2008, Georgetown’s electricity rate was 11.4 cents per kilowatt hour. Last year it was only 8.5 cents.

Yes, this city will pay you to use solar power.

With the 100% renewable energy plan in hand, you’d think Georgetown would be resting on its laurels. None of that. The city is studying the potential for future growth.

That means attracting new business, and given Georgetown’s culture, tourism and business community, this 100% renewable energy brand gives Georgetown an edge over the competition.

City officials estimate news of its clean energy purchases has so far reached about two billion people. Try to get that kind of free publicity with a new natural gas, coal, or nuclear power contract.

The benefit is not only that companies can improve their green image by helping to fight climate change and preserve the environment, although this is an important factor (city officials point out that renewable energies also save money. ‘water).

There is also a straight edge on the bottom line. They begin to recognize the operational value of locally sourced wind and solar energy. Add it at a competitive renewable energy price and you have an unbeatable combination.

If you are considering a “virtual power plant”, here is the official information on Georgetown Jack Daly:

100% of Georgetown’s energy already comes from renewable sources, including a wind farm and a solar farm in West Texas. “We thought that instead of being regulated by the state grid and relying on energy that has to travel long distances, wouldn’t it be great if we generated all of our energy here in Georgetown?

With $ 100,000 in seed money from the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Mayors Challenge, Georgetown will pay homeowners to use some of their rooftop space to install solar photovoltaic panels.

If you are wondering why Georgetown is able to do all of this so quickly, an important point is that Georgetown has its own municipal utility company, which among other things means you can run your own business instead of calculating the pros and cons. a vast network of power plants spanning a wide range of political jurisdictions.

Additionally, Georgetown managers got to see the feasibility of a 100% clean energy plan for their city when they took a look at Burlington, Vermont. Burlington, which also has its own municipal electricity company, was the first city in the United States to be 100% renewable.

Unfortunately, even when cities are keen to work with renewables, state-level lawmakers can still struggle.

The current White House occupant has also not been much of a help, although Energy Secretary Rick Perry appears to have developed his own formula for keeping his boss happy while aggressively promoting the initiatives. wind and solar turbines from the Ministry of Energy.