D.C. Combats Climate Change With New Plans for Solar Panels

D.C. is becoming one of the most energy efficient cities in the nation, according to the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Bowser announced Tuesday that solar panels will be installed on 50 D.C. government buildings over the course of the next year.

This project, along with a recent deal the district made to buy wind power, means about 40 percent of the energy used in D.C. will come from renewable resources, according to district officials.

The deal is a Power Purchase Agreement between the D.C. Department of General Services and Nextility Inc. It is expected to save taxpayers $25 million over the next 20 years and result in a 70 percent increase in solar power generated in the district, according to the office of Mayor Bowser.

“[The Power Purchase Agreement] translates into jobs and savings for taxpayers. We’re up on our city hall roof looking at solar panels. These have been installed for a number of years,” said Bowser. “They’re an example of what we’re going to do with public buildings all over the city with this solar power deal.”

D.C. will also be sending a delegation to the Climate Change Summit in Paris on Dec. 2, despite security concerns.

“Paris is a global city, like Washington, D.C. I think it’s even more important that we go now because we share much of the same values and we certainly share the same role in leading the world in being a free city, a free country,” D.C. Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells said. “I think it’s even more important that we show that bond, that we go to Paris and that we represent Washington, D.C., there.”

Wells will be leading the delegation from the district to the conference in France. He noted D.C. has more EnergyStar buildings in the area than anywhere else in the country. He says he hopes to speak with other city representatives and challenge them to do more but also to learn from them as well.

Bowser says the solar panels will not be the only initiative her administration will be working on to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Next, she plans to tackle D.C.’s fleet of vehicles a another way to reduce pollution.

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