Note: The City of Grand Rapids was named No. 16 on the EPA Top 30 governments list for renewables on October 27, 2014. As of 2018, the city's annual power usage from renewable energy resources was 34%. Green power resources include biogas, solar, and wind. Providers are consumer energy and on-site generation.
Grand Rapids Strategic Plan: Health and Environment
The city of Grand Rapids seeks to reduce carbon emissions from city operations, transportation, buildings, and utilities in its 2020-2023 strategic plan. In 2018, 34% of city electricity was supplied by renewable sources, the city aims to increase this proportion to 100% by 2025. In partnership with the community, the city is working on a climate action and adaptation plan and seeks to achieve a 40% tree canopy.
The city provides a Fare Free Transit network, and is actively improving the bicycle network and expanding sidewalks for increased walkability. Additionally, new mobility programs such as carshare, bikeshare, and e-scooters will innovate the city's transportation sector. These actions are intended to both reduce transportation emissions and the burden of transportation costs for residents.
History of Green Power Purchasing in Grand Rapids
In 2005, the City of Grand Rapids established a goal of purchasing 20% of its municipal power demand from renewable energy by 2008. In November 2007, the city signed a three-year agreement with a three-year renewable with Consumers Energy to purchase Green-e Certified blocks of renewable energy valued at a reduced rate. The contract was renewed in 2013. This purchase agreement is equivalent to roughly 16% of municipal electricity consumption, which, coupled with the 9% renewable-energy component of Consumer's Energy base load generation makes it 24%.
The city offset the additional cost of this green electricity purchase by exploring energy and cost savings opportunities in cooperation and through energy efficiency efforts with support from grant funds and capital projects. The Mayor has also established a further goal of purchasing 100% of the city's municipal electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2020. Due to significant energy efficiency efforts, and energy consumption reduction, as of November 2014, the city is purchasing 25% of its energy from renewable sources and producing solar renewable onsite. It is also committed to significant energy efficiency in City operations. The city is exploring two additional large scale renewable energy projects and will be issuing Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for both soon.