Recently, the town of Burlington, Vermont, which is home to about 42,000 people, has been coming up more and more in my everyday discussions with different people. Two good friends of mine just bought a vacation home there and ultimately plan to move there permanently. While backpacking in the Grand Canyon the first week of September a woman in our group made mention of Burlington and how amazing it’s culture and food is. It’s a very open-minded and progressive type of town that houses many walks of life with little to no judgment. On top of that, it’s peaceful and beautiful.
When I heard it was now the largest city in Vermont to get all its energy from wind, water and biomass I was not totally surprised. This makes sense based on everything I’ve heard and adds yet another great reason to love the city.
The Burlington Electric company made a purchase of the 7.4 megawatt Winooski hydroelectric project earlier this month and now owns or contracts renewable resources which include wind, hydro or water, and biomass equivalent to the city’s needs. The people of Burlington can now feel confident that when they power up their electronics at home it is coming from renewable energy.
“We’re now in a position where we’re supplying Burlington residents with sources that are renewable,” said Ken Nolan, manager of power resources for Burlington Electric Department. “The prices are not tied to fossil fuels, they’re stable prices and they provide us with the flexibility, from an environmental standpoint, to really react to any regulation or changes to environmental standards that com in the future.”
This is all part of a bigger movement in Vermont which includes a statewide goal of getting 90% of its energy from renewable resources by 2050, including electricity, heating and transportation.
This type of accomplishment demonstrates that it’s possible for a bigger city to reach 100% renewable energy.