The Columbia Water and Light 2014 report said it has exceeded its goal of 5% renewable energy source use to 7.22%. Columbia Water and Light is now looking into the proposal it requested last year to find more renewable energy sources.
The 2014 report said there was a 40 percent increase in installed solar energy systems. Water and Light spokesperson Connie Kacprowicz said the two biggest goals for the next year is looking for cost effective renewable sources and a possible small community solar farm program for residents who want panels, but can’t afford them. She also said the City expects to have more customer installed solar systems in 2015 hopefully with the help of Water and Light.
“If a person wants to go out and put solar panels on their home or business or add a solar water heater, they can get a low interest loan through Columbia Water and Light,” said Kacprowicz.
There is ongoing debate between city officials on the best way to expand the city’s renewable energy portfolio. Third Ward council member Karl Skala said the debate focuses on whether or not the city should have a more centralized source of energy.
“We are having that discussion and there will be a good deal of it because there’s quite a lot at stake of the amount of money stake, but also in terms of the philosophy behind how the city delivers its energy,” said Skala.
Skala said the City will meet its goal by 2018 with how aggressive the schedule is progressing. He also says the prices of the solar energy have gone done which can potentially help the City meet its renewable goal.