The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced a new sustainability initiative to position Greater Phoenix as a location for solar and clean technology, green building, renewable energy and other "green industry" organizations. Greening Greater Phoenix Powered by SolarCity promotes the region as an emerging leader in solar technology and renewable energy industries. Over the next several months, GPEC will launch a national and international awareness campaign for Greening Greater Phoenix Powered by SolarCity, targeting companies seeking to expand or invest in a renewable energy market.
SolarCity, the West's number one residential solar power provider, recently expanded operations in Phoenix and is partnering with GPEC to make this effort a success. Greening Greater Phoenix Powered by SolarCity also complements Maricopa County's effort to become the greenest county in the nation.
"GPEC is honored to have SolarCity as our partner to continue the momentum of building a hub in Greater Phoenix for solar and sustainable industries," said Barry Broome, GPEC president and CEO. "Greening Greater Phoenix unifies our communities, stakeholders and partners while diversifying the economy with the creation of high-wage jobs in the renewable energy sector."
"Our mission is to help Arizona realize its obvious potential to be a national leader in solar power adoption by making solar affordable for more area families, and we've been thrilled with the initial response we've received from Greater Phoenix residents," said Peter Rive, SolarCity co-founder and COO. "Greening Greater Phoenix is intended to expand the early momentum we've achieved in solar to broader sustainability initiatives in the area, and we're proud to be a part of it."
Greening Greater Phoenix Powered by SolarCity will drive regional competitiveness in the solar and renewable energy industries by:
- Providing a regional framework to promote communities' sustainability efforts in relation to business development and foreign direct investment opportunities.
- Launching a national and international marketing campaign to brand Greater Phoenix as an emerging sustainability and solar leader.
- Recruiting industry expertise and green champions to serve in an advisory capacity and sounding board for GPEC's leadership.
The City of Phoenix, long a leader in the areas of water conservation, air quality and energy conservation, adopted a long-term renewable energy goal in April 2008 in that 15 percent of the energy used by the City will come from renewable energy sources by 2025. In addition to renewable energy practices, the City of Phoenix is a leader in green and sustainable building practices. In 2004, Fire Station 50 was awarded the first LEED certified facility in Maricopa County and was the second LEED certified facility in the country. The City Council adopted a policy in 2005 that, at a minimum, requires all of the new 16 city buildings constructed with 2006 Bond Funds be designed and built to the basic LEED standard.
"Phoenix has been called the first great city to emerge in the 21st Century," said City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. "Our goal is now to become the first sustainable city in the 21st Century and beyond. A Greener, Greater Phoenix is more than a slogan, it is our destiny."
Also championing the regional initiative are the City of Scottsdale and City of Surprise -- all of which have committed to adopting solar technology and green-building standards to enhance economic development activity within their communities. The City of Scottsdale's Green Building Program, the flagship of the city's green initiatives, was established in 1998 as a voluntary builder program to reduce the environmental impact of building.
The program rates buildings in the areas of site, energy, building materials, indoor air quality, water and solid waste, and offers development process incentives to influence builder design and product choices. Details of the program, and information about the community lecture series, can be found at www.scottsdaleaz.gov/greenbuilding. In addition, to further support this commitment to Green, the City of Scottsdale passed a resolution in 2005 that requires all new, occupied city buildings, of any size, be designed, contracted and built to achieve certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(TM)) Program at the Gold certification level.
"The City of Scottsdale has long been at the forefront of engaging in and promoting green building and sustainable development," said City of Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross. "This new initiative ties into Scottsdale's mission to attract and develop cutting edge technologies that are better for our environment and create economic opportunities for our citizens."
The City of Surprise is an emerging West Valley leader in sustainability practices and industry attraction, with a booming population of 108,000 people and a 309 square mile planning area. The city recently began tracking its green efforts with the launch of its Green Surprise website at www.surpriseaz.com/greensurprise. Featured prominently on that site are the city's Water Conservation Ordinance, which cracks down on water wasters, and the air quality controls that are in place through the city's PM-10 rules, to reduce unhealthy dust particles in our air.
"Surprise is committed to sustainability and innovation," said City of Surprise Mayor Lyn Truitt. "Taking a leadership role in developing solar technology fits exactly with our vision of Surprise."
[Note: The Greater Phoenix Economic Council is a public/private partnership, and the regional economic development organization for Greater Phoenix. Working with its 18 member communities, Maricopa County and more than 140 private investors, GPEC attracts quality businesses to the region. For more information about GPEC, visit www.gpec.org/. SolarCity matches advanced solar power technology with a suite of installation services for communities in California, Oregon and Arizona. Additional information about the company is available at www.solarcity.com.]