LANCASTER – The City of Lancaster is well on its way to becoming one of the first “Net Zero Cities” in the world. Net Zero Cities produce as much energy from sustainable sources as they consume, dramatically reducing their carbon emissions.
The City Council unanimously passed a motion that would allow the City to partner with Beautiful Earth Group to meet the goal of becoming a Net Zero City.
“The Net Zero City project with Beautiful Earth Group has the potential to increase the quality of living and create thousands of new jobs focused on power conservation, systems to support the smart grid, clean energy generation, and downstream activities related to companies attracted to Lancaster for its ability to supply clean energy for their manufacturing, industrial and commercial processes,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.
The Net Zero City program will also put Lancaster at the top of the list when it comes to attracting “smart” industries, according to Beautiful Earth CEO Lex Heslin.
“Smart industries are the revenue creators of the future,” Heslin said. “These businesses look to locate their plants in areas which have the right mix of energy sources, locational advantages and employment resources to fulfill their environmentally responsible corporate missions.”
Beautiful Earth is serving as advisor to the City in its development into a Net Zero City. The company will work on feasibility studies, general concepts and designs for the project and will select and present to the City of Lancaster for its approval potential suppliers and service providers.
Applications for more than 4,000 megawatt’s of generation by photovoltaic (PV) electricity plants have been received in California’s High Desert / Antelope Valley region, according to a statement by the City. They say this provides Lancaster with a wide range of options to reduce its carbon output by using clean energy coupled with energy saving techniques in the future.
In August 2011, First Solar broke ground on its 230 MW AV Solar Ranch One. Lancaster is the site of the country’s first power tower by eSolar (5 MW), has a partnership with SolarCity which has put thousands of modules on Lancaster roofs, and has hosted BYD and KB Home in building net-zero homes in west Lancaster. The city created the Lancaster Power Authority (LPA) in 2010 and formed the High Desert Power Authority to assist in transmission of renewable energy.