The Renewable Energy Movement Ramps Up In Red States

The Renewable Energy Movement Ramps Up In Red States

5:25pm Apr 16, 2018
Photo by Drew Anthony Smith for Smithsonian magazine_preview
Georgetown, Texas, Mayor Dale Ross helped make his town run entirely on renewable energy.
Photo by Drew Anthony Smith for Smithsonian magazine

Where might you find a city that uses only renewable energy?

Try Georgetown, Texas — a red town in a red state that’s going green.

Georgetown’s power company is owned by the city. And that allowed Mayor Dale Ross, who is described as “something of a libertarian at heart,” to make the move away from fossil fuels.

As Smithsonian Magazine reports:

In 2016, the city bought its way out of a contract providing energy derived from fossil fuels and arranged to get its power from a 97-unit windfarm in Adrian, Texas, about 500 miles away in the Texas Panhandle. Georgetown doesn’t own the farm, but its agreement allowed the owners to get the financing to build it. This spring, Georgetown is adding power from a 154-megawatt solar farm being built by NRG Energy in Fort Stockton, 340 miles to the west of the city.

Georgetown’s arrangement is unique, but it’s also an example of an embrace of renewable energy that spans party lines. Can other cities follow suit?

This show was produced in partnership with Smithsonian Magazine.

Smithsonian Magazine


Dale Ross, Mayor, Georgetown, Texas; certified public accountant

Johanna Partin, Director, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance; former Senior Policy Advisor on Environment to San Francisco; @CarbnNtrlCities.

Bill Updike, Principal, Integral Group; former chief of Green Building & Climate for the DC Department of Energy & Environment.

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