Achieving 100% Renewable Electricity by 2035
Committed to Doing our Part in the Fight Against Climate Change
Achieving 100% percent renewable electricity in Arlington by 2035 was a key campaign goal Matt ran on during his election to the Arlington County Board. Matt brings valuable experience working on energy efficiency and green buildings for Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding together to the Arlington County Board, and is committed to making Arlington a more sustainable community.
Arlington’s Updated 2019 Community Energy Plan (CEP)
The Community Energy Plan (CEP), adopted in 2013, is an ambitious long-term vision for rethinking Arlington’s relationship with energy generation, use, and distribution. It is a fundamental tool in the County’s fight against the existential threat that is climate change. In the years since the CEP was first adopted, innovations in markets, technology and construction practices have revolutionized the energy sector. The result has been a proliferation of renewable energy resources due to a combination of increased efficiency, generation, affordability, and expansion of financing and ownership models. Additionally, in Virginia, reinforced political will to combat climate change has led to new legislation focused on advancing energy conservation and security as well as funding for renewable energy projects including wind and solar projects.
In light of these developments, the Arlington County Board released an updated 2019 CEP to realign the County’s energy goals to reflect its expanded capabilities. The updated CEP well-positions Arlington to achieve its ultimate goal of becoming a carbon neutral community by 2050. Interim milestones include:
- 100% of Arlington’s electricity will be from renewable resources by 2035
- Arlington County Government operations will achieve 50% renewable electricity by 2022, and 100% renewable electricity by 2025
- Energy equity will be considered during implementation of the Plan
Arlington County’s Investment in Solar
On January 28, 2020, the County Board unanimously approved a partnership with Dominion Energy Virginia to purchase renewable energy from a solar farm in southern Virginia. Arlington will purchase one third of the solar farm’s electricity and, through a separate agreement, Amazon will acquire the rest. Through this partnership, Arlington County becomes the first locality in the Commonwealth to engage in a power purchase agreement (PPA) of this scale for off-site solar energy with a private company. As part of the agreement, the County will receive an expected 79,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, accounting for more than 80% of annual energy requirements for Arlington County Government operations.
This partnership with Dominion Energy Virginia exceeds the County’s CEP goal of achieving 50% renewable electricity for Arlington County Government operations by 2022, and is an important and exciting step towards achieving 100% renewable electricity for Government operations by 2025. Clean energy acquired from the solar farm will power County buildings, streetlights, traffic signals, water pumping, and wastewater treatment.
The agreement is expected to be cost neutral, and will not require any upfront costs from the County. Consumer rates will not be impacted by the project.