The Fort Collins City Council has voted 6-1 to approve a resolution committing the community to shift away from fossil fuels and transition to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2030, according to the Sierra Club. (The resolution can be found here.)
With the help of engaged citizens, the City of Fort Collins committed to an updated Climate Action Plan a few years ago that included an ambitious goal to reduce climate-disrupting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. By committing to 100% renewable electricity by a 2030 goal today, it makes it possible for the City of Fort Collins to meet its own Climate Action Plan goals.
“Clean energy will ensure a sustainable future for Fort Collins. Climate change, air and water pollution, and exploding growth in our area call for bold action that will safeguard our environment and strengthen our local economy. Moving to 100% clean electricity will create new business opportunities, lower energy bills, and build a resilient future for Fort Collins,” said Nick Francis with the Fort Collins Sustainability Group. “The goal in this resolution supports the emissions reduction goals in the city’s Climate Action Plan and will bring down energy costs for residents. It’s a win for everyone.”
In Colorado, eight other cities including Aspen, Boulder, Denver, Pueblo, and Longmont have all made commitments to achieving full-fledged renewable electricity. Fort Collins becomes the 86th city in the nation, and ninth in Colorado, to adopt this goal.
“The movement to 100% clean, renewable energy in Colorado continues to gain momentum in every corner of the state,” said Tom Rhodes, Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club’s Poudre Canyon Group. “Fort Collins is now the ninth city across the state, and the second served by PRPA, to establish this goal. Fort Collins is showing itself to be a leader in building a in building a better energy system for the Front Range and across Colorado. Communities like Fort Collins show that climate action is being led locally, and that a just transition towards clean energy will benefit everyone.”
Fort Collins now joins Longmont as the second city served by the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) to establish a goal of powering itself entirely with electricity from renewable sources, like solar and wind. PRPA also serves Loveland and Estes Park.
PRPA is currently proposing a plan to achieve zero carbon emissions across their system by 2030. Earlier this year, PRPA tripled a contract for wind power after calculating that adding more wind will lower rates charged to member communities by up to 5%. Similarly, Xcel Energy, the largest utility in the state, earned approval to replace some of their coal generation with clean energy after finding that solar and wind power are significantly cheaper than any other form of new electricity in Colorado.
The Fort Collins Partners for Clean Energy (FCP4CE) first introduced this resolution to the Fort Collins City Council in May 2018 and the coalition has organized support for clean energy action for years in the community. FCP4CE members include: Community for Sustainable Energy, the Sierra Club’s Poudre Canyon Group, Northern Colorado Renewable Energy Society, League of Women Voters, Fort Collins for Progress, 350 Fort Collins, Transition Fort Collins, the CSU Climate Reality Project Campus Corps, Environment Colorado, and Fort Collins Sustainability Group.