Philly signs agreement to buy solar energy

Mayor Jim Kenney signs a bill Tuesday authorizing the Philadelphia Energy Authority — an independent municipal authority set up specifically to reduce the city's energy's consumption — to enter into a contract to purchase 22 percent of its power from solar provider Community Energy. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Mayor Jim Kenney signs a bill Tuesday authorizing the Philadelphia Energy Authority — an independent municipal authority set up specifically to reduce the city's energy's consumption — to enter into a contract to purchase 22 percent of its power from solar provider Community Energy. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The city of Philadelphia is aiming to buy almost one-quarter of its energy from renewable sources under a new deal signed Tuesday by Mayor Jim Kenney.

The agreement authorizes the Philadelphia Energy Authority — an independent municipal authority set up specifically to reduce the city’s energy’s consumption — to enter into a contract to purchase 22 percent of its power from solar provider Community Energy.

Radnor-based Community Energy will build a solar farm near Gettysburg, the largest in Pennsylvania, to fulfill that contract.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown said the move is part of a bigger effort.

“The city of Philadelphia has set a goal for all city buildings to be powered by renewable energy by 2030,” she said. “In order to achieve this goal, we must analyze the need and create a list of options, create a strategic plan and implement the strategic plan.”

Kenney said it also represents an effort by Philadelphia to adhere to the Paris climate accord.

“We need to use less energy, which we are doing through a variety of programs that are cutting energy use in our city buildings,” he said Tuesday. “We also need to use cleaner energy from sources like wind and solar.”

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