Cincinnati eyes 100% renewable energy

Sustainability advocates are encouraging Cincinnati to turn to renewable power.

Sustainability advocates are encouraging Cincinnati to turn to renewable power.

Cincinnati is working on a new power aggregation deal right now that could lead to the entire city being powered from 100 percent renewable energy sources. The deal, city officials say, could be finalized within the coming months and be in place for consumers by summer 2012.

Such a move would make Cincinnati the largest city in the United States to have its energy supply come from 100 percent renewable sources, and it might be accomplished without any significant cost difference for ratepayers.

The way it would work, city officials say, is by requiring power providers to include quotes for both the cheapest electricity available and 100 percent renewable electricity. In Oak Park, Ill., for example, the bids came back so competitive that city officials decided to go with the 100 percent renewable solution.

“There is no guarantee that our bids will come in the same as Oak Park’s, but the question may be whether we are willing to pay an additional 1 percent to pay for renewable energy,” explained Office of Environment Quality (OEQ) director Larry Falkin.

The movement towards sustainability has evidently picked up steam in Cincinnati as of late. At the first of two required public hearings, about 70 people came out to speak in favor of using completely renewable energy sources, and the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace flew a hot air ship over Cincinnati last week advocating for such change.

Read more in the Business Courier of Greater Cincinatti.

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