Traverse City on track to be completely renewable by 2020

Jan 10, 2018

Officials in Traverse City say the community is on track to reach its goal to be operating on 100% renewable energy in city buildings by 2020.

The goal was announced in late 2016.

Tim Arends is with Traverse City Power and Light. He said it’s looking at contracts with energy providers to help reach the 2020 goal.

“We have one that’s been pretty publicly known. It’s called Spartan Renewable Energies, they made an offer to us that we’re analyzing. So I do feel confident that we in the next few years can satisfy the needs of the city to meet their resolution.”

Arends said the city will need to do more than simply buy renewable energy from the grid.

“The city recognizes that part of that goal was not simply buying their way to it through renewable energy, they needed to make investments in their buildings to reduce their energy consumption through energy efficiency measures.”

Arends said since the goal was announced, renewable energy has become more affordable.

“Things have changed now. The price of renewables has come down significantly just in the last three years to where those price points for renewable energy are renewable with traditional energy sources.”

When the city first announced its 2020 goal it had roughly 11 percent of its energy coming through renewable resources. Now that number is closer to 21 percent.