Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Jean-Dominique Billaud

Burlington generates 100% of electricity from renewable sources

Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, now generates 100% of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind, water and biomass. In order to achieve this, the Burlington Electric Department purchased a 7.4 megawatt Winooski 1 hydroelectric project located on the Winooski River on the outskirts of the city. By purchasing the hydroelectric project, the city became part of the Washington Electric Co-operative.

Burlington, United States Image courtesy of smartercitieschallenge.org

Burlington, United States
Image courtesy of smartercitieschallenge.org

The Washington Electric Co-operative has approximately 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont and reached its 100% target earlier this year.

Christopher Recchia, Commissioner of Vermont Department of Public Service, “It shows that we are able to do it, and we can do it cost effectively in a way that makes Vermonters really well positioned for the future”.

According to Burlington’s Electric Department energy efficiency investments save consumers more than $10.1 million of retail electric costs annually. Many cities across Vermont are now making the switch to renewable energy, and the state aims to get 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Vitoria-Gasteiz European Green Capital 2012 is reducing its energy consumption by rationalising energy use and using more eco-efficient technologies such as district heating and micro-cogeneration, as well as greater energy efficiency in new and restored buildings. At the same time, it is promoting renewable energy sources such as solar power, geothermal systems, wind farms and biogas from urban waste.