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EGEB: Philadelphia launches climate collaborative, communal EV for Oregon village, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The City of Brotherly Love launches the Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia.
  • An eco-friendly Oregon housing development will offer a communal electric vehicle.
  • A group of Montana high schools are using solar panels as teaching tools.
  • How power purchase agreements can help wind and solar get on the grid.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Philly commits to green energy teamwork

Last night, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney and local business and industry leaders announced the launch of the Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia. Leaders pledged to address climate change and green energy as a united group. Forty organizations have joined the group.

To join the Climate Collaborative, institutional partners must agree to either:

  1. Publicly reaffirm (or expand on) their currently adopted climate-related goals or;

  2. Adopt or commit to adopting public-facing, climate-related goals

Kenney attended the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen last week. Kenney said:

The city is making strides toward meeting our own climate goals, but quite frankly, we cannot do this alone. Our administration committed the city to cutting citywide carbon pollution 80% and achieving a 100% carbon-free electricity grid by 2050, as well as powering all city buildings on 100% renewable electricity by 2030. That’s why I am launching the Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia so that we can bring together other institutions to address climate change.

Shared EV in Oregon community

The Garden Cottages, a housing development in Ashland, Oregon, is already designed to be green energy-friendly. The 12 houses will also feature a communal electric vehicle for residents.

The Garden Cottages is designed by KDA Homes. The development will have one EV charging station, and each house has the option to have their own individual port. Each cottage is a two bedroom/one bathroom.

Residents use a smartphone app to book the use of the electric vehicle. KDA Homes will maintain the EV for the first couple of years. Ownership of the communal electric vehicle will then transfer directly to the homeowners, and the car will be replaced every seven years. The company hasn’t yet identified which make and model they will be purchasing.

Each home will be charged a $50 monthly maintenance fee to care for the property’s communal areas. That includes the parking lot and the car.

Ashland, which has a population of 21,117, has six public EV chargers, and 700 EVs are registered in the city.

Sustainable energy lessons for high schoolers

Missoula Sentinel High School in Missoula, Montana, has acquired three solar panels from NorthWestern Energy as part of the $1 million Missoula Urban Solar Pilot Project to research green energy. The panels will provide learning opportunities and, of course, provide solar power to the city.

Big Sky, Hellgate, and Willard Alternative high schools in Missoula also have unique solar installations, according to KTVQ Billings News.

Missoula Superintendent Rob Watson said that teachers “looked across the curriculum and tried to figure out where they could plug in some lessons related to solar arrays, and how energy is produced by these arrays.” Teachers have developed science and math lessons around the solar data, which will be available in November. Students will then provide feedback to NorthWestern, and the information will be available to the public.

Power purchase agreements — what are they?

Yale Climate Connections explains how power purchase agreements can help wind and solar get on the grid. Because, to state the obvious, big green energy projects cost millions, and developers have to prove that they’ll make the money back in order to secure financing. So what are the agreements, exactly?

Craig Gordon of Invenergy, a wind and solar developer, explained power purchase agreements to YCC:

A power purchase agreement is simply a contract between a wind farm or a solar farm and a buyer, like a utility or a large industrial customer like Google or Facebook or Microsoft, which enables us to go to the bank and say, ‘Look here, bank, we have a 20-year contract with x,y,z utility for x amount of dollars. Now will you lend us the money so that we can build this project?’

YCC continues:

Gordon says entering into these contracts is also valuable for the companies or utilities buying the energy. It locks in a long-term price and shows they have a plan to meet clean energy targets.

So a power purchase agreement is a lot more than a legal document. It’s a tool to help transition to a clean energy economy.

Photo credit: Actionvance/Unsplash

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.