This guest post provides a nice outside perspective about Raleigh and our city’s efforts to move towards green energy.
The green movement is gaining momentum, especially judging by its emphasis from standard energy sources like www.energyratesnewyork.com. Fortunately, Raleigh is on the better end of the innovation spectrum and has made strides in recent years to shore up the economy and infrastructure in a way that will make it competitive in the realm of green technology for years to come. A citywide emphasis on green technology, facilities and initiatives bodes well for the city going forward.
The Raleigh Green scene
How does Raleigh stack up to other cities and metro areas nationwide when it comes to green technology? Here are some recognitions and rankings:
- According to a July 2011 Brookings Institution report, Raleigh ranks 10th among metro areas in its share of green economy jobs
- In 2011, Raleigh was one of the three winners of the US. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center’s Sustainable Community Award
- Raleigh is involved in Project Get Ready, an initiative helping the city prepare for the inevitably increase in the popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles
Green buildings and facilities
- The Raleigh Convention Center has received its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for the facility’s sustainable and environmentally friendly design.
- The E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant features one of the state’s largest rooftop solar PV arrays, which generates more than 300,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity (roughly the energy usage of 22 homes) per year. The plant also reduces carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to that of 26,000 gallons of gasoline.
- The Neuse River Waste Water Treatment Plan features a solar PV array that generates approximately 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and reduces carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 140,000 gallons of gasoline.
Electricity conservation through lighting updates
With the help of Cree, Inc., Raleigh has become the “First LED City in the World.” The City initiative emphasizes the use of new light fixtures and LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting technology. Examples of the LED initiative can be found citywide, including lighting upgrades in:
- City parking garages
- Light fixtures at the Raleigh City Plaza
- The Raleigh Convention Center
With LED upgrades in more than 40 City facilities, the initiative offsets the electricity consumption of
nearly 600 local households.
All in all, the city is set up nicely to expand in the green arena going forward. With the reelection of Barack Obama, whose campaign touted continued investment in and incentivizing of green jobs and local government initiatives, the city’s role in the green movement should maintain some momentum going forward.