It was almost a year ago that the city of Clayton declared that by Earth Day 2011 on April 22nd, it would become the first Green Power Community in the state of Missouri. To meet their goals in the Clayton Green Power Community Challenge, the city’s residents and businesses have been committing to support new Missouri wind farms via enrollment in Ameren Missouri’s Pure Power program. In addition to the more than 180 residential customers and 30 business customers had signed up to support the challenge as of December 31st, 17 businesses and nine residential Pure Power customers are considering the purchase of an on-site solar system.
Clayton-based Microgrid Energy and 3Degrees approached the City of Clayton with the initial idea of becoming a Green Power Community. Green Power Communities (GPCs) are towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively to meet sustainable energy goals set by community stakeholders with guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA). The goal set by the EPA for Clayton’s businesses and residents to use 670 MWh of green power per month. Currently, the alternative energy usage is at 524 MWh.
“The city of Clayton has been a Pure Power leader for almost three years now,” said Cindy Bambini, Senior Ameren Partnership Manager for 3Degrees Group, Inc. and a St. Louis Earth Day Board of Directors member. As Judy Kekich, Clayton’s communications coordinator, explained in a Patch article about the initiative, “We’ve always tried to stay on the cutting edge of environmental initiatives. We were one of the first communities in St. Louis County to initiate the single-stream recycling program where glass, plastic and aluminum could all go in the same container.”
3Degrees Group, Inc. is the San Francisco-based vendor/partner selected by Ameren to market and manage Ameren’s Voluntary Renewable Energy Program, Pure Power, which officially launched in the AmerenUE territory on October 1, 2007. Renewable energy credits can be distinguished from carbon credits, Bambini explains, because while carbon credits attempt to offset the environmental harm done by direct emissions such as car exhaust, and renewable energy credits help to offset indirect emissions that are not as easily see such as those created when fossil fuels are burnt to light your home. “When you buy a renewable energy credit, you are helping green power sources grow,” Bambini says, by increasing the level of sustainably produced energy enters the local power pool while decrease the need for fossil-fuel.
You can read more about the challenge in Cindy Bambini’s article on Patch. If you are a Clayton business or resident, you can find out how to sign up with the challenge by visiting www.mypurepower.com or by contacting Cindy directly.