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Atop the Reeves Center, Mayor Bowser Highlights Commitment to Renewable Energy, Public Health and Green Jobs

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser reaffirmed her commitment to sustainability and clean energy for the District of Columbia.

During a press conference at the Frank D. Reeves Center for Municipal Affairs overlooking one of its green roofs, the Mayor highlighted the groundbreaking wind power purchase agreement between the District and Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, that will save the District $45 million over the next 20 years.  Officials from Iberdrola presented the Mayor with a District flag that was recently flown over a Pennsylvania windfarm. The windfarm provides 35 percent of the energy needed to power District government buildings.  The District Department of General Services, which manages the District’s portfolio of government buildings, has purchased the entire output of Iberdrola’s South Chestnut 46-megawatt (MW) windfarm in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The District of Columbia will continue to lead the nation in the fight against climate change,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are supporting green building, promoting energy and water efficiency, and fostering renewable energy.  This wind agreement exemplifies how my Administration will use energy policy to boost our economy and create cleaner air for current and future generations.”

Under the Power Purchase Agreement with Iberdrola, District government will receive 125,000 MW hours of electricity each year from wind energy, making this the largest wind power deal of its kind ever entered into by an American city.  The agreement (that went into effect on August 1) not only saves the District money - it also creates green energy jobs in America, and reduces the District’s carbon footprint by removing roughly 100,000 tons of carbon pollution over its 20-year span.  That is the equivalent of planting 44 million trees, or removing 18,000 cars from the road every year. 

“This commitment by the Mayor and the City Council to clean energy generation is an example for other cities to follow as we address the growing challenges of climate change,” said Barrett Stambler, Vice President at Iberdrola Renewables.

Today’s event comes on the heels of President Obama announcing his Clean Power Plan – an historic initiative that takes meaningful action on climate change by reducing carbon pollution from power plants.

“President Obama has called on Americans to take bold action to combat climate change and promote green energy,” continued Mayor Bowser. “Washington, DC is answering the President’s call by making the District a greener and healthier city.  And we’re doing it in a way that puts residents first and saves their hard-earned tax dollars.  We want to show the rest of the country what’s possible – through commitment, collaboration and creativity.”

During the event, Mayor Bowser was joined by Director Tommy Wells, who announced the name change of the Department of the Environment (DDOE) to the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE).  Director Wells underscored the significance of this name change from a policy perspective, which includes plans to invest agency resources to help District residents by improving DC’s energy efficiency and expanding access to solar power.

“Now, more than ever, is a critical time for the District to show leadership in energy for our residents and businesses.  Our energy and environmental concerns go hand in hand, and I am proud to support Mayor Bowser’s re-designation of DDOE as the Department of Energy and Environment,” said Director Wells.

Click here to view video highlights of the wind energy agreement.