Voices of 100%: Arkansas City Advances its Energy Action Plan — Episode 112 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 9 Sep 2020 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In January 2018, Fayetteville topped headlines as the first Arkansas city to commit to 100% renewable energy. In less than 2 years, the progress Fayetteville plotted since its initial promise has made those aspirations look like a near-future reality.

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Peter Nierengarten, Environmental Director of Fayetteville’s Sustainability and Resilience Department. They discuss the city’s initial commitment to 100% renewable energy, the detailed Energy Action Plan, and their desire to make Fayetteville a city that future generations can be proud of.

Listen to the full episode and explore more resources below — including a transcript and summary of the conversation.

Peter Nierengarten: Overarching the goal of transitioning to clean energy strategy, provide energy security and pricing. I think helps everyone in terms of keeping energy prices affordable in the future, but not tying them to the fluctuating markets associated with fossil fuels
John Farrell: In January, 2018, Fayetteville, Arkansas became the state’s first city to adopt a 100% renewable energy goal. Now with the detailed energy action plan, the city aims to create a future that its children can be proud of. In August, 2020, I was joined by mayor Lionel Jordan and environmental director of Peter and garden to discuss the city’s goals and its plan to achieve them. I’m John Farrell, director of the energy democracy initiative at the Institute for local self reliance. And this is our special voices of 100 series focused on local leaders and their pursuit of 100% renewable energy. It’s all part of local energy rules, a biweekly podcast during powerful stories about local, renewable energy. Lionel did Peter welcome to the program?
Lioneld Jordan: It’s good to be here.
Peter Nierengarten Yeah. Thanks for having us.
Lioneld Jordan: Thank you very much for having us.
John Farrell: Well, I am just delighted to have you, because it has been really exciting for me to have had all of these conversations with communities that have made these commitments. You know, there’s now over a hundred cities that have made 100% renewable energy commitments of some sort like Fayetteville, but they differ in terms of the scope and the timeline. Could we start by just having you explain what the city is committed to and by what date?
Lioneld Jordan: Well, what we’ve worked on, we, we made a commitment to a hundred percent clean energy was made on January the second, 2018. It took us, Oh, I don’t know. We probably worked on that plan for about a year before we actually brought it to the council, but we were very concerned about fossil fuel use greenhouse gases. We really wanted to make an impact, not just in our city, but in the state, in the nation and ultimately the world. So Peter worked on the first energy action plan that I know of in the state at that time. And I was very proud of our state. I know we’d also worked with the Sierra club on their hundred campaign and, and other real progressive communities to make a similar commitment. Cause I have been concerned about greenhouse gas emissions for quite some time. And when we’re looking at what 405, 407 parts per million, and it needs to be in the three 50 range.

Then when you see that are lower than the three 50 range, you, you see that you need to do something and it’s, it’s like an emergency situation that you need to address. And I think it’s, it’s vital that we all commit to a hundred percent clean energy. I know that we set a goal in our city operations in our city buildings for 2030 to be a hundred percent clean energy. And I certainly within, uh, about a year’s time that in our city operations and our city buildings, we hit 72% in about a year, maybe 15 months, which I was very proud of the efforts that the staff made and the sort of support I had from the city council. We’d just all worked together because, you know, as I always say, you can do a few really great things by yourself, but it’s when we all work together, we can do a lot of great things. And this is a real great example of that.

John Farrell: Yeah. It’s impressive that you’ve already made such great progress. Could you just clarify for me, cause I get asked this question by other sort of energy wonks, is the commitment to a hundred percent — Is that focused just on electricity? Are you looking at transportation and buildings heating and cooling? That kind of thing too.
Lioneld Jordan: It’s everything. It’s everything. Very good transportation. If I remember the numbers correctly, there’s about 30% and we need to address that. That’s one of the things we’re working on next and that gets into your fleet and the kind of vehicles that you buy. The fossil fuels course. What’s interesting about fossil fuels folks as well. You know, we got all this coal and all this stuff, but if you just look at it as a finite resource, even if you didn’t believe in all the climate change, which I do by the way, that is a finite resources, it’s going away. And if it goes away saying 50 years, what are you going to do? Then what’s going to be left for our children and our children’s children. We’ve got to think into the future, not just today but tomorrow. And so you’ve got to think about, if you don’t believe in climate change, you should realize that your, your call was an oil because it’s certainly finite resources.

That’s going away being used up and getting more expensive. We’ve worked real hard. And that’s where you get into the transportation issues. That’s where you get into the cutting back on the fossil fuels that your wastewater treatment plants, which was a huge use of our fossil fuels and oil and gas. We targeted that first. And then once we got that accomplished, we had taken care of 72% of our clean energy in our own buildings. And I hope it encourages people that as we do this and we put solar panels on other buildings, a hope that the commercial industries in our city and the individuals see the need for the getting into this sand division for a hundred percent clean energy. We also set a goal a hundred percent clean energy in the city by 2050. So we’re working on that too. We’re not just, we’re just not setting and saying, Oh wait, we have arrived. We’ve had 72%. We’ve still got another 28% out there we’ve got to work on. And we’re doing that as well.

Peter Nierengarten: I can just add our energy action plan that all this is of the umbrella plan for all of this has a percent GHG emission reduction goal by the year 2050 plan is for four major areas of reducing greenhouse gases in the city. The first is electricity supply for the city. The second is buildings and energy consumption in our buildings. The third area is transportation and transportation related emissions. And then the fourth area is in our waste. That goes to the landfill.
John Farrell: I read about the solar and energy storage project, like batteries that the city signed onto in partnership with Ozarks electric cooperative and a solar developer called today’s power. I was curious as that project, part of how you got to that 72% or is that going to get you even further in terms of the city’s goals?
Lioneld Jordan: Yeah, that’s one of the ways we could get to 72% because what we found and what I was interested in with there was another, city’s done a solar project, but they didn’t have any battery storage. So when the sun doesn’t shine, there wasn’t any kind of storage. So what it does when the sun’s not shining? We store that into the batteries that we can use later. It’s a win win in that direction.
Peter Nierengarten: Right after we passed our energy action plan, we began looking at our portfolio of buildings and we, we quickly realized our two wastewater treatment facilities that the city owns and operates used about 66% of the total electricity that the city government consumes. And they’re blessed with generous land resources nearby. We began talking with Ozarks electric, who’s the local electric cooperative that provides electricity to both wastewater plants. And they brought a partner today’s power into the table. And we worked collaboratively between the three of us to develop the 10 megawatt solar array projects with the 24 megawatt hours of battery storage at the two plants and essentially offset the entire amount of electricity that the two plants consume. And so that took us from 16% clean energy. When the council passed plan in December, January, 2018 to 72% clean energy, when we flipped the switch on that project, it’s just a little less than a year ago. Last, last September.
John Farrell: Well, you already mentioned the city’s detailed energy action plan that encompasses the goal. And, and you talked about sort of the four different areas that it focuses on. Could you talk about some of the strategies that you have in that plan that you are hoping to use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and some of those sectors, what things like that solar project are already being done?
Peter Nierengarten: Well, the solar project was one of the biggest first steps and goals under the four areas or their sub goals. So transitioning to clean energy supply for building our, or for our electricity consumption was one strategy and one goal, uh, energy efficiency in our buildings. So focusing on weatherization and efficiency, measures, lighting upgrades on our buildings, our street lights to reduce electricity and energy consumption and our buildings in our transportation sector leaning in harder on active transportation. So biking and walking infrastructure. We’ve got an amazing trail system in the, and you’re continuing to invest heavily in sidewalks, safe and complete streets. And then also public transportation as part of that transportation sector, reduce transportation, emissions, investment, and more effective transit. And then in our waste sector where we’re working to increase access to recycling and participation, recycling food waste, composting, we’re growing a commercial food waste composting program for our commercial businesses, a university in schools in the city. And then we’re taking some baby steps towards construction and demolition waste recycling as well to try and eliminate usable recyclable reusable building materials from going to Orlando and contributing to landfill emissions.
Lioneld Jordan: Want me to get back to keeping everything pure and clean? I’m big on preserving the urban forest and green space in this city. I just, I just want to give a shout out about that because I know that that that helps in and keeping the air clean and purified and, and stops a lot of those emissions. And I, I’m proud to say in the last six years, this city has preserved about 1200 acres of urban forest in this city. And we’ve also built about 110 miles of trails. And we’re completing a trial loop all the way around the city to go along with the ones that we go in through this city. So people can take a bike or walk. They can enjoy the trees. It helps protect the environment. And I’m real proud of the 1200 acres of urban forest and green space we preserved. It will be preserved forever. Never be touched again.
John Farrell: I want to come back to around electricity in terms of that shift to renewable energy. You mentioned that in terms of both energy efficiency and how that’s an important piece, obviously a lot of folks are talking about electric cars is as a way that you can get transportation to get to clean energy. Like a lot of the a hundred percent cities, Fayetteville is mostly served by a utility company that it doesn’t own. And so I was curious, how do you see the city being able to shift electricity use by private businesses, private households towards renewable energy? It sounds like for example, the Ozarks electric cooperative was a pretty good partner for the city’s solar project. I think you have one other utility Southwestern electric power company, you know, are they going to make a transition to clean energy on a similar timeline? Have you sat down and talked with them about how they can help the city meet its goal?
Lioneld Jordan: Yeah, we’re, we’re working with them on a lot of their stuff is with wind power. That’s something we’re very interested in. Also the clean wind power. It could be accessible and shared by all of the SWEPCO’s customer, which is roughly about two thirds of the residents of the city. So wind power is big too. And I know Peter’s been working on that. He can probably give you a little more detail on that than I can, but I know I’m very interested in not just the solar panels, but also the wind power. You know, we thought we had it worked out back a few years ago and then that got scuttled. So we’re, but it’s coming back again. We’re very interested in it. Peter can address all the details of that.
Peter Nierengarten: Yeah, SWEPCO’s got three wind projects that are currently in development over in Oklahoma. Not that far, honestly, from here three, 400 miles away, the Crow clause for Fayetteville, they get to really good wind resources, just the other side of interstate 35. And in Oklahoma, the first other three projects will be online by the end of this year. And that’ll start the supply, clean wind power coming to Fayetteville. And then two others that are actually larger will be provided to their service territory in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. So we’ve been pretty active and vocal supporters of those projects, pleasing providing testimony at the Arkansas public service commission when those projects were up for application and approval, doing supportive the projects along with the university of Arkansas and Walmart and other progressive black mountain organizations.

So, yeah, so I’ve taken a little different approach. They haven’t been as big of proponents around solar cause they’ve been in focusing more on wind power, but certainly both utilities. So I’ve go in Ozarks, see electric vehicles and electrification of transportation as a definite area of growth, low growth for them. And it’s clean transportation for us. So we’ve been having lots of conversations with both organizations about how to increase the number of ed charging stations in the community. As we, as we see the demand for EVs continue to grow, we’re looking at a couple of options for electric vehicles for our fleet. In fact, we have one passenger vehicle right now, and a couple of utility vehicles and looking at the market to see what else materializes. So there’s definitely interest.

John Farrell: Well, we’re going to take a short break. When we come back, we hear about whether the utilities, clean energy plans match the cities, how equity is addressed through affordability and the city’s tree canopy and how the city is held accountable to its goals. Hey, thanks for listening to local energy rules. If you’ve made it this far, you’re obviously a fan and we could use your help for just two minutes. As you’ve probably noticed, we don’t have any corporate sponsors or ads for any of our podcasts. The reason is that our mission at ISR is to reinvigorate democracy by decentralizing economic power. Instead, we rely on you, our listeners, your donations, not only underwrite this podcast, but also help us produce all of the research and resources that we make available on our website and all of the technical assistance we provide to grassroots organizations every year ISR, small staff helps hundreds of communities, challenge monopoly, power directly and rebuild their local economies. So please take a minute and go to ilsr.org and click on the donate button. And if making a donation, isn’t something you can do, please consider helping us. In other ways, you can help other folks find this podcast by telling them about it, or by giving it a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. The more ratings from listeners like you, the more folks can find this and [inaudible] other podcasts, community broadband bits and building local power. Thanks again for listening. Now back to the program.

With those wind projects for SWEPCO is the utility kind of getting pretty far ahead then in terms of its percentage of renewable energy, do you know in terms of their plant, I’m actually involved in a utility resource plan conversation here in Minnesota. So our utilities file these 15 year energy plans kind of like here’s, what’s going to happen in the next 15 years. Does SWEPCO do something like that, where you get a sense of, Hey, here’s the progress that they’re going to make toward this goal and how it might help us along?

Peter Nierengarten: Yeah, they do an integrated resource plan. I don’t recall how long the plans get more, but I believe they updated every three years and we participated in the last update and like talked about what wind made up in terms of their future portfolio and their growth in terms of supply. I don’t remember off the top of my head, what those numbers look like in terms of their percentages, but it’s definitely growing for them as a utility. For sure.
John Farrell: One of the things that we’ve seen in other cities that have pursuing their a hundred percent goals, that they’ve also been focused on how it can be equitable, such as energy affordability for low income residents or ensuring that native American or communities of color that live near polluting power plants have a chance to benefit more from the transition to clean energy. I saw among the many aims of your energy action plan, that it has a goal to reduce average housing and transportation costs to 45% of the area, median income. Are there other specific economic or racial equity goals in the plan or things that the city’s been pursuing or goals that you have around equity
Peter Nierengarten: Overarching the goal of transitioning to clean energy strategy provide energy security and pricing, I think helps everyone in terms of keeping energy prices affordable in the future, but not tying them to the fluctuating markets associated with fossil fuels, but more specific one of the areas. And I don’t know that we, we detailed it out really, really well in the plan, but in some of the urban forestry initiatives, you know, the mayor mentioned preservation of existing urban forest, the focusing on street tree canopy. So planting more trees, right tree, right place. We, you know, we see an underinvestment in the community likely in urban street trees that are in some of our lower income neighborhoods and that planar strip between the sidewalk and the back of the curb. And, um, if you begin to think about sort of, you know, summertime heat Island impact, you know, places being hotter, cause it doesn’t have as much shade, you know, maybe homes that aren’t as well insulated or as efficient, or we can invest in street trees and, and pooling those neighborhoods through the design of those neighborhoods. I think that’s where some of our programs can have a little bit greater impact. We can focus more on more equitable distribution in that area.
Lioneld Jordan: You also, John, back to the planning of the city, when you have certain areas of the city and things just walkable to people like stores and where they go to work and they don’t have to get in a car, burn all the gas and put on all the emissions where they have to drive miles and miles. And now you make your city, a walkable city or a city where you can take a bike to work and you make it accessible. And that’s for people of all levels of their income. Anybody can get on our trails. We’ve got about 110 miles from trails. I believe thereabouts. And you can get on like we’re working on a plan right now. We’re going to go from one of our areas on Casper mountain to Centennial. I know you don’t know where those are, but there are a few a mile or so apart, which takes them off also to Mark them Hill, which allows him to go all the way to the university of Arkansas. So you can take a bike from the South end of town and go all the way to university of Arizona to get your education. You don’t have to get in the car and drive it. So that helps everybody that helps. That helps low income people. I, it helps everybody else.
John Farrell: Just out of curiosity, I’m from Minneapolis, our limitation on non-car transportation is that, of course you got snow and ice in a winter. I would imagine that yours is sort of the reverse that it’s in the summer when people maybe are less inclined to get on a bike and to commute around. Is that right?
Peter Nierengarten: It can be. Yeah, we have. We certainly don’t have it. My parents were from Minnesota. I’ve spent some Christmases up there. I know what you guys deal with. And I’ve written my book around Minneapolis. It’s a great biking city, but it can get cold here for sure. In the winter and snow. Sometimes we probably don’t have quite as robust as snow removal equipment as you guys have, but that you are correct in the summertime. It can get kind of warm and human. And that definitely can be a barrier for us as well. But particularly our, our, our settlements, the spring and the fall are definitely the most beautiful and agreeable in my opinion. Yeah. For active transportation. But yeah, I do a year-round.
Lioneld Jordan: You know, I see those trials are very, very popular and in the city, I mean, folks ride a bike and they walk and, and these areas, I was just telling you about those are, one’s got 400 acres of trees, you got 228 acres. We just got another 60 acres. You could walk through a beautiful nature trail or ride a bike. And it gets people out and helps build a community. And now we’re talking more of a mayor’s perspective. I may not be getting into the energy thing like you wanted, but it’s part of it. It’s part of the whole package. It’s about community. Yeah.
Peter Nierengarten: And during the pandemic, even we said, yeah, a couple of different, right. I think we’ve set a record in April, broke the record in may and June in terms of the utilization on our trails, because they w the focus for the design. And this is sort of critical and critical since inception was around creating a trail system that is at its core, a transportation based system that, that does an effective job connecting destinations that are important in our community. Like it runs right through the heart of downtown connecting the North end, the town with the South end of town and Indigo job, providing transportation options for people. But then along with that comes all these ancillary recreation benefits that folks who also want to use it for recreation, jogging, running, recreation, biking, whatever, it’s been a really, really effective we’ll use well-loved system. Yep.
John Farrell: I wanted to ask you one question in terms of the energy goals that you’ve established. Obviously they’re fairly recent that you’ve got the action plan. Both of you are clearly very committed in terms of how the city could move out with those goals. Is there any kind of accountability mechanism? I know some other cities have like citizen advisory committees that work on climate and energy stuff, kind of both supporting and keeping tabs on elected officials and city staff and the work. Is there any way that in Fayetteville, that there’s sort of folks outside of city government that are keeping tabs on the progress?
Lioneld Jordan: Well, we have an energy action committee, environmental, I mean, I’m sorry, environmental action committee. So it’s in their charter monitor and give them the wording on climate change impacts. And then we also bring an annual report to our council every year on our progress. And parent gives her a report every two weeks to the city every month, every month for the city council on where we are with our, on our wastewater treatment plants with the 72% where they are and where they were and where they are and where they’re headed. So we keep everybody up to speed on every everything we’re doing.
John Farrell: That’s great. Thank you. I just want to wrap up by asking so far that Fayetteville is the only Arkansas city. That’s made a commitment like this a 100% renewable energy commitment. What advice might you offer to other cities in your state that are considering a similar pledge or trying to figure out how they would meet it?
Peter Nierengarten: I it’s, honestly, I think some folks maybe fear the cost of making an energy transition, but for us, our experience is that it is cost neutral or in fact saves money. And so my advice to other cities would be dig into the numbers, find yourself a good partner that can help you run the economic analysis on clean energy, energy, efficiency, whatever the solution is you’re looking for. And it’s likely if done well, it’ll actually save you money in the short and long run and help you beat clean energy goals.
Lioneld Jordan: And, you know, John, you know why I do what I do. I’m going to tell you, I do it for my children and my grandchildren. You know, I want to leave them. I don’t want them to say of me when they’re my age. And I wish my grandfather had taken, protecting the earth more seriously than he did. I want him to say that he believed in protecting the earth. He helped stop global warming. He helped leave us a better place to live in. I want them to be able to say that he cared and I want them to say that about this generation. Nobody’s going to remember us, Sean, we’re all going to come and go, but you know, the earth, it lasts forever. It’s up to us. How we leave it. I want to leave it a better place. I wanted to be a place where my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. It’s still planting trees instead of having to pay to see what one looks like. I want, I want them to say that because we in this generation stopped the greenhouse gas emissions and made this a better world for everybody that exists. Not only back then, but in the future. And then we’re going to do the same thing and we’ll just continue to build layer on layer to protect the earth and make sure that just preserve.
John Farrell: Thank you very much for your commitment and for taking the time to talk with me about what Fayetteville is doing around clean energy. I really appreciate it. You’re very well, thank you so much for listening to this episode of our voices of 100% podcast series with Fayetteville mayor Lionel Jordan and environmental director, Peter near and garden recorded in August 2020. Local Energy Rules is produced by myself and Maria McCoy. Editing provided by audio engineer, Drew Birschbach. On the show page, look for links to the city’s energy action plan and a summary of the interview to learn about other cities pursuing 100% renewable energy, check out over a dozen additional voices and 100% interviews and the local energy rules podcast, including leaders in Madison, Wisconsin, Cleveland, Ohio, or even a Bita Springs, Louisiana, check out the Sierra, club’s ready for 100 campaign page to see more cities and their clean energy goals. Back on the website of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, you can also find the entire list of 100% cities on our community power map and click through an interactive community power toolkit for stories of how cities have advanced or their goal tune back into local energy rules every two weeks to hear more powerful stories of communities taking on concentrated power to transform the energy system until next time, keep your energy local. And thanks for listening.


Fayetteville’s Ambitious Vision

Fayetteville’s push towards a renewable, sustainable future came after a year of planning and analyzing. Mayor Jordan says he’s proud of the work done so far, after two years of rapid improvement.  He hopes to set an example in energy transition not only for the state, but for the country and even the world. He points to the importance of collaboration, like their work with the Sierra Club, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a cleaner future.

The city’s plans are focused on a 100% renewable energy goal for the entire city, along with an 80% greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2050. Planned upgrades to their solar installations and energy storage have helped them get on track for 72% renewable energy by 2021. Fayetteville has a secondary commitment to 100% renewable energy for all city operations by 2030, as well, to push them forward.

To reach their emissions goals, Nierengarten says their focus is on reducing the outputs of four sectors: electricity, building emissions, transportation, and waste management. The strategies outlined in the city’s Energy Action Plan addressed these problem areas and progress has been made through agreements with utility providers.

Cooperation, the Key to Achieving 100%

A recent collaboration with the Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power, Inc. on a municipal solar power system is another big step forward for Fayetteville. The system, a 10 megawatt array with 24 megawatt-hours of storage, stands alone as Arkansas’s largest solar array on municipal land and the only one in the state with onsite power storage for the community.

Mayor Jordan cites other solar projects falling short on promises. He says while planning Fayetteville’s solar improvements they focused on the issue of  low production when the sun’s not shining. The simple solution? “We store that into the batteries that we can use later. It’s a win-win in that direction.”

Another area utility company helping Fayetteville realize its renewable energy goals is Southwestern Electric Power Company. SWEPCO, Nierengarten and Mayor Jordan explain, serves two-thirds of the city. The company’s recent renewable energy focus has been wind power. Both SWEPCO and Ozarks are also looking at electric vehicles in city fleets as another approach to lowering emissions.

A Range of Growth Across the City

Nierengarten explains steps beyond energy production and storage, such as increased energy efficiency in transportation and public works, along with expanded recycling and composting options. Mayor Jordan also mentions a focus on preserving green space in the city and trail systems to enable more pedestrian and bicycle commuters, along with the recreational uses they encourage.

I’m proud to say in the last six years, this city has preserved about 1200 acres of urban forest[…] and we’ve also built about 110 miles of trails.

– Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Mayor Jordan expects the energy and cost savings in the long-term benefitting all of the city.  The city is aiming to confer much of the benefits, specifically in sections of the population that have seen historical underinvestment. He says that the move towards clean energy is the move towards cheap energy, due to the scarcity of fossil fuels.

The city is working to remain accountable and to hold their business partners (like the utilities above) responsible throughout the process. Monthly reports by Nierengarten and his department help to track progress and roadblocks along the way. Pressing the utilities involved helps hold them to improving their facilities.

Part of what is making this integral change possible, Mayor Jordan and Nierengarten agree, is the economic benefits that are expected from the switch. Nierengarten explains that not only will many of the upgrades to community energy production, storage, and efficiency show long-term savings, but short-term payoffs too.

The pressing threat of climate change is something that must be dealt with this generation, Mayor Jordan emphasizes. “The Earth will last forever,” but it is important we leave it in a better state than previous generations.

I do it for my children and grandchildren. I don’t want them to say ‘I wish my grandfather had taken it more seriously.’

– Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Episode Notes

See these resources for more behind the story:

For concrete examples of how cities can take action toward gaining more control over their clean energy future, explore ILSR’s Community Power Toolkit.

Explore local and state policies and programs that help advance clean energy goals across the country, using ILSR’s interactive Community Power Map.

This is the 24th episode of our special  Voices of 100% series, and episode 112 of Local Energy Rules, an ILSR podcast with Energy Democracy Director John Farrell, which shares powerful stories of successful local renewable energy and exposes the policy and practical barriers to its expansion.

Local Energy Rules is Produced by ILSR’s John Farrell and Maria McCoy. Audio engineering by Drew Birschbach.

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter, our energy work on Facebook, or sign up to get the Energy Democracy weekly update

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Drew Birschbach

Drew Birschbach was an Energy Democracy Intern working as a producer on the Local Energy Rules podcast and blog posts. Their studies include Professional Journalism with minors in Sustainability Studies, Information Technology and Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.