By December 29, 2015 Read More →

City of Houston green power increases in 2016

Houston green power amounts to 950,000 MWh

houston green energy

Houston green energy deal is equivalent to the kilowatt-hours needed to power over 87,000 homes each year.  Photo by Ed Schipul.

HOUSTON _ The City of Houston will become the largest municipal purchaser of renewable power in the United States in 2016.

On Tuesday, the City announced it is signed an agreement with Reliant Energy to increase its purchase of renewable power through at least June 2016.  The City reports talks for a 12-month extension to the deal will begin after the New Year.

“We are excited to continue our renewable energy leadership in Houston,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This is a perfect complement to the recent approval of our 30 MW solar project, and I’m proud to leave this administration with such a positive statement about our commitment to sustainability.”

With the deal, the City of Houston’s purchase be 950,000 MWh, which will amount to 75 per cent of its annual electricity demand.

The Houston green power deal is equivalent to the amount of kilowatt-hours needed to power over 87,000 homes each year.

According to Janice Evans,‎ Chief Policy Officer at Office of the Houston Mayor, the City has purchased renewable energy credits that are Green-E certified.

In addition to investing in green power, the City also received national recognition for its sustainability leadership from STAR Communities and is the largest city in the United States to become certified in the program.

The City of Houston joins Austin and Plano in achieving certification under the national STAR Community Rating System (STAR).

The STAR Community Rating System is a robust sustainability rating system for cities, towns, and counties, which helps communities evaluate themselves across seven areas related to sustainability. The areas include built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; health and safety; and natural systems.

STAR provides support as localities benchmark progress, a third-party review ensures accountability and nearly 100 communities are using the rating system.

“Sustainable cities provide a healthy environment, support a strong economy, and continually improve the well-being of the community,” said Hilari Varnadore, Executive Director of STAR Communities. “The data and information that Houston gathered through the process should help them continue to make improvements that benefit the whole community.”

Recent sustainability initiatives that the City has approved include:

  • Adopting an anti-idling ordinance for motor vehicles with a gross vehicle rating of more than 14,000 lbs;
  • Establishing a commercial Property Assess Clean Energy (PACE) program to enable Houston owners of commercial, industrial and residential properties with five or more units to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency and renewable retrofits; and
  • Moving forward with a 30 MW solar power purchase agreement for municipal operations.

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