September 21 (Thursday) 6-7:30 pm CAN ASHLAND REDUCE ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT?
September 21 (Thursday) 6-7:30 pm
CAN ASHLAND REDUCE ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT?
A presentation by Friends of 10×20
On Thursday the Friends of 10×20 is hosting an information forum on the meaning and progress of the City ordinance known by the same name, “10×20”.
One year ago, the City of Ashland adopted an ordinance requiring the City to obtain 10% of its electricity from new, clean, local sources. The ordinance is a reality today due to dedicated advocates that secured the necessary 1650 signatures (along with another 700 for good measure) to put this language on the 2016 November ballot.
This action — with its significant number of signing voters — caused the City Council to immediately adopt the measure (August, 2016) by a unanimous vote, which also kept the measure off the 2016 November ballot and out of the political conversation of candidates running for office.
Since the adoption of the ordinance, the City has:
- Studied feasible energy sources
- Evaluated our distribution grid and its interconnection to the external transmission system
- Identified some of the obstacles to achieving our objectives including contractual constraints of our electric supplier, the Bonneville Power Administration.
- Made a preliminary choice to use solar power to obtain the 10%.
- Initiated the preparation of a Request for Proposals from private investors to build and operate and in due course turn over to the City a solar farm on City-owned land across I-5 from the City. This is called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Of course, the City will only accept a favorable proposal for this PPA, but the chance of Ashland receiving favorable proposals depends entirely on the quality of the Request For Proposal (RFP) which the city of Ashland issues. For example, it is very important that the RFP contains as few uncertainties as possible, in order to reduce expensive assumptions in the resulting proposals. The greater our specificity, the cleaner the proposals we will receive.
The path to project completion is complicated. It requires solid public support. While there are many barriers to success, not one of them is technical. All of the barriers are political. This means citizen involvement determines whether the project succeeds.
If you are in favor of making a significant reduction in our local carbon footprint, please support the City Staff and its political leadership. Many of the details will be discussed in the Thursday presentation. There will be discussions of the alternative resources and a lengthy period of questions and answers.
This is a project that we think Ashland’s citizens overwhelmingly favor — a serious and real reduction in our carbon footprint!
Friends of 10×20