Under the 2-year Renewables Accelerator program, all the agencies involved will help select 25 cities in the US procure renewable energy amounting to over 2.8 GW. Pictured is the Congress building in Washington DC, which is one of the cities on the program list. (Photo Credit: www.goodfreephotos.com)
- A new accelerator program has been launched in the US to help 25 cities procure more than 2.8 GW of renewable energy capacity; according to Greentech Media this capacity is expected to be reached by 2021
- The 25 cities were selected under Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge for the 2-year accelerator program
- Partners of this program apart from Bloomberg are Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)
- All these agencies will help the 25 cities procure large scale off-site renewable energy, deploy renewables locally and navigate regulatory policy and institutional barriers by engaging with utilities and policymakers, and at the same time training senior leadership in select cities
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US cities can expect support for their renewable energy ambitions coming from a bevy of private agencies in procuring more than 2.8 GW of renewable capacity under a new program called the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator or Renewables Accelerator.
Launched as a joint effort by the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), the Renewables Accelerator is designed to help cities procure large-scale off-site renewable energy, deploy renewables locally and navigate regulatory policy and institutional barriers by engaging with utilities and policymakers.
Greentech Media says the 2.8 GW target will be achieved by 2021 under the program, which is based on RMI’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) that helps corporations buy more renewables.
All the partners in this program will use their technical support and expertise to help 25 cities selected for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge in increasing their renewables share. They will help with training senior leadership and equipping them with the know-how to frame and implement relevant policies along with citizen engagement support over a period of 2 years.
The program will offer support in three main areas:
- Large-scale, off-site renewable energy procurement, including municipal direct power purchase agreements (PPAs), virtual PPAs, utility offerings and community choice aggregation (CCA).
- Local renewables, including deploying on-site renewables at municipal facilities, accelerating on-site renewables adoption among residential and commercial customers within the wider city community and implementing community solar projects.
- Support for utility, regulatory and policy engagement, by helping cities navigate regulatory, policy and institutional barriers by providing analytical support for their engagement with utilities, public utility commissions and state legislatures.
American cities and states have been taking a lead in tackling climate change through renewables after US President Donald Trump abandoned the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017. For instance, Washington DC has committed to achieving a 100% renewables goal by 2032 (see Washington DC Confirms 100% RE Goal).
“The role cities must play in spurring demand for renewable energy and accelerating the clean energy transition has never been more important,” said Antha N. Williams, head of Environmental Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We are excited to work with some of America’s most ambitious cities to deepen their renewable procurement efforts, tackle climate change and ultimately deliver for their communities.”
Some of the select cities include Washington DC, Portland, Pittsburgh, Honolulu, Chicago, among others.