Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Housing Authority, Fleet and Facility Management Commissioner David Reynolds, and City Colleges of Chicago announced this past April their commitment to move their buildings’ electricity use to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
When implemented, Chicago will be the largest major city in the country to have a 100 percent renewable energy supply for its public buildings.
“As the Trump administration pulls back on building a clean energy economy, Chicago is doubling down,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By committing the energy used to power our public buildings to wind and solar energy, we are sending a clear signal that we remain committed to building a 21st century economy here in Chicago.”
The commitment will be met through a combination of purchased energy credits, utility-supplied energy renewable energy provided by Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, and on-site generation.
Organizations like the Shedd Aquarium have already committed to powering their facilities with renewable energy. The Shedd has installed over 900 solar panels in an effort to reduce energy use by 50% by 2020. The Shedd has also retrofitted its facilities with 1,000 LED light bulbs and has installed a One-megawatt battery on its property.
The city has already made significant steps towards greening up its energy supply. In 2013, the City eliminated coal from over 1 billion kilowatt hours in electricity that is purchased on an annual basis. Since 2009, over a dozen CPS schools have had solar panels installed. And the Chicago Park District and City Colleges currently procure large portions of their energy use from renewable sources.
Editor’s Note: This post is adapted from this City of Chicago’s press release on 9 Apr 2017.