White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach this week announced that the city will work to power itself using 100 percent clean energy by 2035.
Roach pledged support for the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative, joining 120 mayors in the U.S., including fellow Westchester mayor Drew Fixell of Tarrytown.
The announcement further aligns the city, Westchester’s county seat, with a number of municipalities that have pledged climate action following the decision of President Donald Trump’s administration to pull the country out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It also aligns with New York’s Clean Energy Standard, a regulation pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to derive half of the state’s energy production from renewable resources by 2030.
“Moving in this direction will decrease pollution, thereby protecting the health of our residents, create new jobs in the growing clean energy industry and help lower the burden of high energy costs placed on both residents and businesses,” Roach said in the announcement.
The city highlighted a number of initiatives it has already undertaken to boost its use of clean energy sources. The city is part of the Westchester Power bulk power purchasing program and utilizes its 100 percent green supply option. The municipality also powers its buildings with electricity purchased from the New York Power Authority, which produces 70 percent of its power statewide from hydroelectric sources.
White Plains also highlighted the 20 electric vehicle charging stations in city garages, a plan to replace its street lights with energy-efficient LEDs and a streamlined solar permitting process for residences.
“Our goal now is to keep moving the dial further toward the 100 percent mark,” Roach said. “On a larger level, I believe that cities are in a unique position to help lead the transition away from dirty fuels to renewable energy, but it will require boldness and ambition to get it done.”