The town of Boone is hitting some of its climate goals eight years ahead of schedule. It's now the first municipality in North Carolina to achieve 100% renewable energy in government facilities. 

Boone has three decades-worth of climate goals. The first — reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its municipal buildings by 2030 — will be met by February. This includes services like police and fire forces, as well as public utilities and energy-consuming infrastructure like street lights.

George Santucci is the town sustainability manager. He says that hitting this goal ahead of schedule is thanks to Boone's two energy providers. New River Light & Power's energy source is now renewable; Blue Ridge Energy also made some changes.

“They had the foresight to install an 11-megawatt solar array in Caldwell County, which is just down the mountain from us,” says Santucci. “Then we entered negotiations to gain access to enough of that solar power to power our load on their footprint.”

Santucci says the renewable energy costs about two cents more per kilowatt-hour compared to sources like coal and natural gas. 

The 2050 goal is for residents to completely migrate away from fossil fuels and for the entire town to be run on 100% clean renewable energy.

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