Philadelphians purchase almost 600 million kilowatt-hours (kwH) of renewable energy each year, the equivalent, according to a City press release, of removing 80,000 passenger cars from the road.
As such, Philly has been designated a Green Power by the EPA. It is the largest city in the country to receive said designation which requires at least 3% of the city’s energy use be generated from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydropower.
Green Powers across the US
In 2006, Philadelphia joined the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. From that partnership a number of initiatives (many of which we’ve covered) developed over the years. They include Green2015, in which the City pledged to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015, which exists under the umbrella of the Greenworks program, Green City, Clean Waters and more.
Stock photo of wind turbines. Put 'em in the rivers!
Part of that 20% will come from a recent Philadelphia Phillies announcement that the team will purchase $22M kwH of renewable energy credits (we wish that it was a renewed team energy triggered by the return of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard), matching 100 percent of their electricity use, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. Nearby, the Navy Yard is home to the Philadelphia Energy Innovation Hub, funded by a $122M Department of Energy grant.
Mayor Nutter with a solar panel
In tow with the recent designation, is the Philadelphia Greenpower Challenge announced by Mayor Nutter in June. It’s part of a national campaign to encourage communities to use more renewable energy sources and raise awareness about the issue. It’s also a 10-week “friendly competition” with D.C. to see if Philly can surpass the number one purchaser of renewable energy among large cities.
Now, let’s sit back and imagine how the city might run with 80,000 fewer cars stretched across its streets…