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City Operations to Run Exclusively on Wind Power Starting 2019

April 19, 2017 - The City of Mercer Island announced today that it will buy 20 years of clean wind power to replace its current mix of electricity. Today, 60 percent of the power supplied regionally by Puget Sound Energy derives from coal and natural gas. The City’s contract for 2019-2039 will replace those fossil fuels under PSE’s new Green Direct program, covering its annual municipal usage of three million kilowatt-hours.

“Moving 100 percent of Mercer Island facilities away from fossil fuel-based electricity to clean, renewable wind, is just the kind of program we had in mind,” said Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett. “We appreciate PSE’s significant efforts to implement this new direct-purchase option in Washington, and we look forward to directly funding a new windfarm.” 
 
Over the long-term, the City believes it will save money via the contract, according to Ross Freeman, City Sustainability Manager: “A two percent yearly inflation rate is built in, but based on historic data, future power rates are forecast to increase by approximately 2 to 4 percent per year.”  The City joins King County, Western Washington University, Anacortes, Bellevue, Snoqualmie, and Sound Transit, as well as major commercial consumers such as REI, Starbucks, and Target in launching the innovative program in Washington state.
 
This initiative is just one example of the City’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, renewable energy, and carbon-footprint reduction. “Ever since our record-breaking residential Green Power sign-up campaign in 2012, we’ve been looking for other ways to reduce our community’s carbon footprint,” said Mayor Bassett.
 
Through various City programs, Mercer Island has installed substantial amounts of residential and commercial solar generation, and is now approaching 1000 kilowatts of local production capacity.
 
In partnership with the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (representing 1.5 million people), the City of Mercer Island also undertakes many other joint carbon footprint reduction measures, such as: cleaner fleet vehicles, EV charging infrastructure, and energy-efficient commercial construction rules.
 
By making the electricity usage of all City operations carbon-neutral, the entire Island community will take a major step toward significant carbon reduction.
 
Learn more about the City’s sustainability programs at www.mercergov.org/Sustainability.
 
 



 

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