5 September 2017

Santa Fe joins the movement of US cities committing to 100% renewable energy

Last week, Santa Fe’s City Council adopted Mayor Javier Gonzales’ resolution to develop a feasibility study on how the city can meet the 100 percent renewable electricity goal by 2025.

The City Council directed City Manager Brian Snyde to manage the development of the report, and he will be responsible to present the findings in ninety days.

The resolution reads: “The City of Santa Fe has historically been a leader in the fight against global warming and has a responsibility to continue to set a positive example for other cities, states and countries to follow”.

It also reads: “Such a transition to utilizing 100 percent renewable energy will promote employment opportunities and economic growth in our community, facilitate local control and ownership of the city's energy options, and bring tangible benefits of using renewable energy to the community as a whole”.

Currently, 25 per cent of the energy consumed by Santa Fe comes from renewable energy sources, most of which is generated by solar installations on municipal buildings.

The rest of the city’s power is supplied by the Public Service Company of New Mexico.

Mayor Javier Gonzales expressed his excitement after his resolution passed unanimously.

He tweeted: “There it is Santa Fe, on a unanimous vote my resolution to commit to 100 percent Renewable Energy sourcing by 2025. Work to do, but here we go!”  

Despite the goal being considered very ambitious for an eight-year timeframe, he believes it is achievable especially given the technological developments in solar energy. 

According to the Sierra Club, a US-based environmental consultancy, five US cities  meet their energy meets from renewables so far, and more than forty have committed to meeting this target within the next years.

The Mayor revealed that consolidation of the city’s energy facilities would be a key consideration, since retrofitting existing city facilities to be more efficient is considered “cost-prohibitive”.

City Manager Brian Snyde underlined that the 90-day deadline is very tight, given the complexity of the desired plan, and he declared that within this deadline he will present recommendations rather than the final version of the plan.

John Alejandro, City Liaison to the Advisory Commission said that the draft would be ready by the first week of November.

Mr Gonzales also introduced a resolution to amend Santa Fe’s current investment policy and ensure that its fiscal agent, Wells Fargo, will not allocate any city funds to fossil fuels. 

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