Government Buildings Switching to Renewable Energy
Downtown state buildings are now powered 100 percent powered by wind, solar and other renewable sources.
Taking another step toward fulfilling the clean energy goals set forth by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the California Department of General Services (DGS) has partnered with SMUD, Sacramento’s community-owned, not-for-profit electric service, to purchase 100 percent renewable energy for all of its state-owned buildings in downtown Sacramento—a move that makes California one of the nation’s largest purchasers of energy derived from renewable sources.
“We are taking a leadership role in the fight against climate change by embracing energy efficiency,” said Daniel C. Kim, Director of the Department of General Services “With the help of our local utility partners, state office buildings across the region are cutting their carbon footprint and switching to renewable energy.”
As part of an agreement signed this week, SMUD’s Greenergy program will supply 100 percent of the electricity needs of DGS-controlled office space in the downtown Sacramento region – including the state capitol – with power generated from renewable resources like wind, water, sun and biomass.
“Supporting the state’s drive to embrace renewable energy aligns perfectly with our Board’s goal to help reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and protect the environment,” said Nicole Howard, SMUD’s Chief Customer Officer. “More than 70,000 of our residential and commercial customers have chosen to participate in Greenergy, and we’re proud that DGS is now our largest partner.”
The 108 gigawatt-hours of electricity that will now be delivered by the SMUD Greenergy program represents a 30 percent reduction in the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by facilities operated by DGS. Over the three-year life of this agreement, the reduction represents roughly 76,975 metric tons of carbon reduced. This is equivalent to the electricity used by well over 10,000 homes annually.
Further, DGS would instantly become the largest green power user among local governments in California and would be second only to Illinois for state green energy purchases. The department will be in the top 50 of national green power purchasers, ranked with companies like Google, Intel and Microsoft.
The nominal cost associated with the program, estimated at an increase of $6 per megawatt-hour of electricity, will be paid for by existing rent paid to DGS by the state departments that reside in its state-owned buildings.
This agreement is part of the executive branch’s far-reaching efforts to meet the goals set forth in Governor Brown’s inaugural address earlier this year, when he announced that within the next 15 years, California will increase from one-third to 50 percent the electricity it derives from renewable sources.
Earlier this year, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-30-15 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most ambitious target in North America and consistent with California's existing commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050. The Under 2 MOU builds on other international climate change pacts with leaders from Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel and Peru. Governor Brown also helped convene hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists to issue a groundbreaking call to action - called the consensus statement - which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.