City wants to use 30% green power by end of ’15

City buildings are getting greener.

City buildings are getting greener.

In 2015, the City of Red Deer is expected to purchase even more green power to offset electricity use in its buildings, street lights and other infrastructure.

Currently, 25 per cent of the energy used in the facilities are powered by green energy sources. The goal is to reach 30 per cent by the end of 2015, by doing such things as using solar panels and buying from green suppliers.

The city will use the equivalent of 11,842,000 kilowatt hours of green power in 2014.

As a result, 10,420 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided that would have been created with conventional power.

Nancy Hackett, the city’s Environmental Initiatives supervisor, said one goal under the Environmental Master Plan is to bring to the buildings and infrastructure up to 40 per cent green by 2020 and 60 per cent in 2035.

In 2009, only 15 per cent of the city’s facilities were powered by green energy. Hackett noted that this weekend the Alberta Green Energy Doors initiative will happen across the province, demonstrating that municipalities are not the only ones moving to green sources of energy.

Red Deer’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions reached about 137,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2010, according to the city’s 2010 Corporate Greenhouse Gas Inventory report.

The city’s plan is to reduce the emissions by 30 per cent or 95,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents by 2020 and 50 per cent or another 68,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents by 2035.

One of the new measures will soon be tested at the Collicutt Centre. The facility is to be one of the first in Alberta to use ATCO Gas’s combined heat and power (CHP) unit. It will produce heat and electricity for the 250,000-square-foot facility. The new technology is expected to lower operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 800 tonnes per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 160 cars off the road. It is expected to be up and running by November.

Last year, the city released its Corporate Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Staff is now calculating the community’s carbon footprint.

The city buys its EcoLogo-certified green power from Bow Valley Power.

The annual report on the Environmental Master Plan, including focus areas such as energy, air, transportation, waste and water, will come to city council on Oct. 14.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com