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Washington D.C. recognizes the importance of renewable energy

The nation's capital chooses a renewable future.
Washington D.C. recognizes the importance of renewable energy
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The latest big moment for clean energy is in the nation’s capital. This week, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. voted to expand the city’s use of clean energy for years to come.

The District of Columbia city council unanimously decided to require half of the city’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Once approved, the District’s new renewable energy standard (RES), will expand the city’s renewable energy use from 20 percent by 2020 to 50 percent by 2032, which puts it ahead of many state laws to expand renewable energy.

By growing the city’s share of clean energy, residents of the nation’s capital will have cleaner air and lower bills.

California, Hawaii, Oregon and Vermont have recently passed similar extensions of renewable energy standards to 50 percent or beyond. The District may not be the biggest or the first to strive for such a high target, but because we’re based here in downtown Washington the issue is close to home for AWEA staff!

Today’s vote expands on clean energy leadership by the District of Columbia city government, which last year became one of the first major American cities to purchase wind energy directly. The District’s lawmakers signed a long-term power purchase agreement in 2015 to buy the entire output of Iberdrola Renewables’s (Currently changing its name to Avangrid Renewables) South Chestnut 46-megawatt wind farm in southwestern Pennsylvania, enough to supply 35 percent of city building electricity needs. This agreement is projected to save District taxpayers $45 million over 20 years.

Are you a district resident that hearts wind as much as we do? Please help us to thank Councilmember Mary Cheh for her leadership and commitment to a clean energy future.

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Kaitlin Monaghan is a member of the Advocacy and Federal Legislative Affairs teams at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Kaitlin implements a multi-level grasstops effort that includes elements of public affairs, legislative lobbying, and advocacy campaigns. Kaitlin facilitates productive relationships between AWEA member companies and key influencers to increase the understanding of the industry’s policy needs among policy makers, with a focus on Congress and the White House but also state and regional governments. Before joining AWEA, Kaitlin had a range of energy and environmental law and policy experience in the business association, nonprofit, and government sectors. Kaitlin received a J.D. and Certificate in Energy, Environmental, and Land Use Law from the Florida State University College of Law.

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