Sourcing Renewables - January 28, 2022
Town of Boone Changes to 100% Solar and Hydropower
All town buildings and facilities in Boone, N.C., will run entirely on renewable energy beginning Feb. 1., surpassing the town’s goal to run all operations with clean energy by 2030.
The Town Council voted on Jan. 12 for the adoption of a new electricity arrangement with its two providers, Blue Ridge Energy and New River Light and Power, paving the way to achieve this target eight years ahead of schedule, local NPR station WFAE reported. All the energy used for town operations and facilities will come from either solar or hydropower.
The Boone Town Council first established a 2030 target for achieving carbon neutrality in municipal operations in 2019, with a 2050 goal to power all homes and businesses with renewable energy by 2050.
The town’s sustainability manager, George Santucci, told WFAE that the hydroelectric and solar power will cost approximately 2 cents per kWh more than the town’s previous average rate of 12 cents. The Town Council added around $60,000 to its electricity budget to account for the changes.
“Unfortunately, renewables are still a premium product,” Santucci told the publication. “We see that changing over time. And so the Town Council knew they needed to achieve these goals. And by investing early, I also knew that we could drive that market, we could drive the demand for renewables, which would then decrease the overall cost over time.”