The Boone Town Council voted during its Jan. 12 Town Council Meeting to allot $60,290 to purchase renewable energy.
Boone is the first municipality in North Carolina to achieve 100% renewable energy in municipal buildings, according to a Jan. 12 Town of Boone press release.
Blue Ridge Energy and New River Light and Power are supplying the energy, 75% from BRE’s solar arrays and 25% from NRLP’s hydroelectric power through its Green Power Program. The divide, according to town sustainability manager George Santucci, is based on the energy consumption of the municipal buildings on each company’s grids.
“Both companies have made the power available to us much sooner than I thought,” Santucci said, and ultimately the quick adoption has put Boone far ahead of its goal to have municipal operations climate neutral by 2030.
In 2019, the town of Boone established a timeline for three sustainability goals, the first to reach climate neutrality, meaning net-zero greenhouse gas emission, in municipal operations by 2030, the second to transition municipal operations to 100% clean renewable energy by 2040 and the last to transition the entire town of Boone to 100% clean renewable energy by 2050.
“The opportunity is immediate. We felt strongly that we should lead the way and take advantage of this opportunity,” Santucci said.
Investing in renewable energy not only means the town will have access to new renewable infrastructure, like Blue Ridge Energy’s new Brighter Future Solar array, but Santucci said it also is signaling to the community’s energy providers that there is a market for renewables and the companies should continue investing in that infrastructure.
To learn more, please read the full article, Town of Boone Reaches Climate Neutrality in Municipal Operations Eight Years Ahead of Its Goal (PDF).