FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – Kentucky’s capitol is going green to reduce its carbon footprint.
Local leaders said their goal is for the city to run 100% on clean energy by 2030. One of their first moves will be making the shift from natural gas to renewable energy sources such as solar power. They’re starting with government-owned facilities, hoping to set an example for residents to follow.
Their immediate goal is for all city operations to run 100% on renewable energy by the end of this year. From there over the next seven years, they’ll work for the government and the city as a whole for 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.
This clean energy goal will apply to several different areas, including transportation, food systems, and electricity.
Energy audits will be performed on government buildings to see where the city can gain energy efficiency. Vehicles will be examined to see where the city can cut back as well in terms of usage.
This’ll culminate in determining what type or types of renewable energy sources will best power the city of more than 28,000 people.
Frankfort Mayor Layne Wilkerson believes the benefits from these changes will be felt for years.
“We know technologies are getting better every day, exponentially better, and the price of different types of renewables are coming down so that they are more affordable,” Wilkerson said. We want it to be ahead of the curve there so that once the technologies are more affordable, we are already going to have our plan in place.”
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Frankfort is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to come up with the city’s clean energy plan. The city is also taking reference from other cities such as Los Angeles and Louisville in developing its plan.
Louisville has goals of being 100% clean energy by 2040, which leads Wilkerson to say Frankfort has the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy plan in the state.
“That was part of our thinking as well, that we could be the showcase for the rest of the state, a coal-producing state, and show how this can be done and we want to be that example,” Wilkerson explained.
Regardless of what happens over the next several years, Wilkerson said the city has no intentions of doing anything major without it being both affordable and beneficial for the people of Frankfort.