West Chester’s Sustainability Advisor Committee (SAC) unanimously approved a Clean Energy Resolution for West Chester Borough to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy. The transition for 100% clean renewable electricity will be completed by 2035, and 100% renewable energy for heat and transportation will be completed by 2050. SAC then called on the Borough Council to put together a plan for achieving the renewable energy goal.
West Chester Borough has now become the second municipality in PA, and the 45th in the U.S. to adopt a clean energy resolution! This exciting and historic commitment to clean energy is bringing community members and municipalities together to plan the way forward.
On October 3rd, 2017, the Chester County Clean Energy Leadership Conference was held at the West Chester Borough Hall Building. The energy in the room was positive and motivating.
West Chester Mayor Norley, and Kennett Square Mayor Fetick reviewed the purpose of the resolution to protect our families and communities, specifically to take preventive actions to minimize the impacts of more than a century of high carbon emissions. Around the world, goals to reach carbon neutrality are being set as we try to avoid the most catastrophic changes in weather and climate. Collaboration with neighboring communities will strengthen the mission and develop common plans and resources.
- Energy Transition Plan – Share professional resources with our neighboring communities. These can include energy assessments, planners, and RFPs for purchase or installation of renewable electricity. We can share ways to streamline the process for permits, share opportunities for funding, and coordinate our efforts with Regional Planning, County Planning, and local Councils of Government.
- Stakeholder Engagement – Encourage participation across all community sectors. This should include community engagement sessions to recognize a collective vision, and create coordination for building capacity and resilience across sectors.
- Energy Action/Implementation – Share energy contracts, support progress, maintain focus on renewable clean energy choices, and immediately prioritize the shifting of public facilities and essential services as energy models.
- Aspen, CO – In 1885, Aspen became the first American municipality west of the Mississippi to use hydroelectric power. Today, the City of Aspen electric system uses 100% renewable energy (46% hydroelectric, 53% wind power, 1% landfill gas).
- Burlington, VT – the first in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy for its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious policies, the feat represents a milestone in the growing green energy movement.
- Greenburg, KS – Greensburg is 100% renewable, 100% of the time. All electricity used in the city of Greensburg is wind energy.
- Kodiak, AK – changed to 100% renewable energy as of 2012. The change not only saves residents money, but they have also reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by 62 million pounds per year!
- Rock Port, MO – wind turbines are connected directly into the cities high voltage line. Rock Port uses approximately 13 million kilowatt hours each year. This made Rock Port, Missouri the first community in America capable of meeting its entire annual electricity demands from wind.
- West Chester, PA – we look forward to joining this list!!
-Barbara A.W. Clarke, AIA, Director of Sustainability