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City of Tempe sets new goal for renewable energy use

PHOENIX – The city of Tempe has set a new goal for itself when it comes to renewable energy.

The city council passed an initiative Thursday to have 20 percent of the city’s property using renewable energy, primarily solar, by 2025. Supporters, such as, Bret Fanshaw with Environment Arizona said the move will have strong benefits for the city.

“Solar benefits communities like Tempe because it is pollution free and it has zero fuel costs,” he said. “It’s also going to limit air pollution and help tackle climate change, which we’re obviously concerned about.”

Fanshaw said he did not know the initial installation costs to meet the requirements, but said solar installations at the South Water Treatment Facility are expected to save the $2.3 million over 20 years and installing more solar on other Tempe city property will continue to save money.

Tempe has long had a focus on eco-friendly initiatives and was one of the first cities in the Valley with a recycling program. Fanshaw said the new goal is continuing to support a better environment and goes above and beyond standards.

“It is above the state renewable energy standard, so that’s great,” he said. “We definitely think the city can hit (the goal) and go above and beyond that goal as well.”

The initiative was put forward by a sustainability group in the city council that included Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Vice Mayor Onnie Shekerjian and Councilmember Shana Ellis, according to a press release.