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County goes 100% green

A Californian county has decided to produce 100% renewable energy for county facilities.

Sonoma County has signed a year-long agreement with 3 Phases Renewables to produce all of its electricity from renewable sources, generating 15% of it from biomass.

Seven county facilities in Santa Rosa and Petaluma will be powered from biomass throughout this year, with the rest being powered by wind energy.

The county says it chose 3 Phases Renewables because it has a good track record with previous work within the county. Since 2004, the county has been working towards a goal of producing 25% less greenhouse gases than was produced in 1990, by 2015.

Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, Shirlee Zane, says: ‘Sonoma County continues its leadership in energy sustainability and fiscal responsibility. The power purchase agreement represents a cost savings for the County at a time when budgets are tight, while also utilising renewable energy sources. We are furthering the county’s ambitious climate protection goals by eliminating an estimated 1,383,190 pounds of CO₂ annually – the equivalent of avoiding the use of 70,337 gallons of petrol.’

The county is spread over more than 1,600 square miles and 475,000 people live in the region.