Mercer Island city operations to run exclusively on wind power starting in 2019

  • Thu Apr 20th, 2017 3:54pm
  • News

A wind turbine at the Wild Horse wind farm. Photo courtesy of PSE

As part of its Earth Month activities, on April 19 the city of Mercer Island announced that it will buy 20 years of clean wind power to replace its current mix of electricity.

Today, 60 percent of the power supplied regionally by Puget Sound Energy derives from coal and natural gas. The city’s contract for 2019-2039 will replace those fossil fuels under PSE’s new Green Direct program, covering its annual municipal usage of three million kilowatt-hours.

“Moving 100 percent of Mercer Island facilities away from fossil fuel-based electricity to clean, renewable wind, is just the kind of program we had in mind,” Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett said in a statement. “We appreciate PSE’s significant efforts to implement this new direct-purchase option in Washington, and we look forward to directly funding a new windfarm.” Over the long-term, the city believes it will save money via the contract, according to Sustainability Manager Ross Freeman.

”A two percent yearly inflation rate is built in, but based on historic data, future power rates are forecast to increase by approximately 2 to 4 percent per year,” Freeman stated.

This initiative is just one example of the city’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, renewable energy and carbon-footprint reduction.

“Ever since our record-breaking residential Green Power sign-up campaign in 2012, we’ve been looking for other ways to reduce our community’s carbon footprint,” Bassett said.

Through various city programs, Mercer Island has installed substantial amounts of residential and commercial solar generation, and is now approaching 1,000 kilowatts of local production capacity. By making the electricity usage of all city operations carbon-neutral, the entire Island community will take a major step toward significant carbon reduction.

Learn more about city sustainability at www.mercergov.org/Sustainability.