Image source: The Guardian
On the heels of Governor Schwarzenegger announcing state renewable energy standards for on Monday November 17, the Santa Clara City Council elected on Thursday November 20th to take the standards and raise them. The local utility already provides 28.5% of the city's power from renewable sources and sees no problem of meeting the state goal of 33% by 2020. The Santa Clara Environmental Stewardship and Renewable Standard Policy Statement outlines the progression for increasing renewable energy percentages. The minimum benchmarks are for power to the city to be increasingly sourced from renewable sources: 20% by 2013, 24% renewable by 2016, 28% by 2019, and 33% by 2020. The city is planning to increase it percentage of renewable energy, despite these state mandates as they want to continue to stay ahead of the curve.
Santa Clara was the first city in the US to offer a solar utility through its solar hot water leasing program and is considered the 2nd largest Green Power Community in the US, according to the US EPA, allowing residents to purchase 100% renewable energy.
Silicon Valley Power, the area utility, currently gets power from geothermal, solar, wind and small hydro. They provide power for over 50,000 residents and large companies like Yahoo!, Intel and National Semiconductor at rates 25-45% lower than area utilities.
More on Green Cities
7 Hidden Eco-Gems: Under-The-Radar Cities Worth A Visit
Tall Cities = Green Cities?
Evolution of the Green City States
City Halls to Get Green Makeovers from Clinton Foundation
Walk Score: Cool Green Google Map Mashup