City enters partnership with National Renewable Energy Laboratory to meet 100% renewable goals

April 22, 2021

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government (LMG) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to chart a course in meeting the city’s 100% renewable-energy goals. The Colorado-based NREL specializes in renewable energy and energy-efficiency research and development. 

In February 2020, Louisville Metro Council passed the 100% renewable-energy ordinance setting out the goals of 100% clean electricity for Metro operations by 2030, 100% clean energy for Metro operations by 2035, and 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040. 

“Louisville is excited to work with the NREL, a proven organization in achieving and reaching renewable goals,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “We must increase the percentage of our city’s energy sources that is run by renewables, and I believe with the right partners at the table, we can do just that. We can’t look past the fact that our current energy sources are the dominant factor in greenhouse gas emissions. I thank Metro Council for their resolution, which led to this action and look forward to the results of this partnership.” 

The NREL partnership will: 

  • Provide a roadmap to achieve these goals with guidance and policy recommendations for resiliency and renewable energy readiness; 
  • Identify solar rooftop and ground-mounted generation capacity of Louisville municipal operations and community at large; 
  • Explore other renewable-energy options such as geothermal, renewable natural gas, wind generation, etc. that result in 100% renewable energy; 
  • Identify funding mechanisms and grant opportunities to finance conversion; and 
  • Provide guidance on navigating state and federal regulations and the state utility market.

Current electricity generation and consumption within Louisville represent the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 9,883,480 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in 2016, or approximately 62% of total emissions. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to renewable energy not only slows the impacts of climate change, but also reduces energy-operating costs and other air pollutants, improves public health, and enhances quality of life for residents. Investment in new forms of energy generation can also create new industries and job opportunities locally to build, operate and maintain renewable-energy installations.

Phase one of the partnership will cost LMG $30,000. 

Louisville is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, with more extreme heat, larger storms and record rainfall. These changes are expected to worsen in the coming decades. While climate change affects everyone in the community, it impacts some marginalized residents far more than others. Climate change exacerbates many existing stressors related to health, income, housing quality and availability and hazardous materials exposure experienced by historically marginalized groups. Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to clean, renewable energy will help mitigate these disproportionate effects and provide new economic opportunities for Louisvillians. 

NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. NREL advances the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies and provides the knowledge to integrate and optimize energy systems.

For more information on the NREL, please visit https://www.nrel.gov/

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