The City of Bellevue's energy use is getting cleaner and greener. Puget Sound Energy announced last week that the city will join the utility company's new "Green Direct" renewable energy program. The initiative allows local governments and major commercial customers to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing energy directly from clean, renewable sources.
"We're pleased to team up with other public and private sector leaders for PSE's new Green Direct purchasing program," said Mayor John Stokes. "Residents value our city's pristine natural environment, and reducing carbon emissions to help preserve our environment is a goal we can all get behind."
Bellevue plans to purchase 10.3 million kilowatt-hours, or half of its total energy usage, starting in 2019. The program will reduce overall municipal emissions by approximately 30 percent.
In addition to Bellevue, several cities have signed up for the program to cover all or part of their operations including Anacortes, Snoqualmie and Mercer Island. The largest off-taker of energy will be King County, with government entities like Western Washington University and Sound Transit also committing to the project. Major private customers include Target, Starbucks and REI.
Green Direct was recently approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Once complete, the wind project will produce enough renewable energy to power nearly 30,000 homes.
The announcement marks another accomplishment for Bellevue's Environmental Stewardship program, launched in 2007. Since then, the city has made significant strides in reducing its publicly-owned facility energy costs and emissions, installing rooftop solar at city buildings, and increasing efficiencies.
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