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City of Chicago issues $200m RFP for renewable energy supplier

It has committed to ensuring that all City-owned buildings will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and also wants to stimulate the local green economy.

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The Harold Washington Library in Chicago
The Harold Washington Library in Chicago

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) has announced a new request for proposal (RFP) for a renewable energy supplier for all City-owned buildings. It has committed to ensuring they are all powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.

 

In addition, the City aims to stabilise municipal energy costs, stimulate the local green economy, create high-quality green jobs, improve air quality and environmental impacts across the region, and reinforce Chicago’s commitment to addressing climate change.

 

Current costs

 

The contract will provide all City-owned buildings, streetlights and other facilities with reliable, renewable electricity supply for at least five years beginning in 2022. The current cost of powering just City-owned buildings with energy is around $40m annually, resulting in an estimated renewable electricity supply contract of $200m for the vendor.

 

“Chicago is at the forefront of large cities leading the way to mitigate climate change, and a shift to renewable energy for the City is another exemplary step in our efforts,” said Lightfoot. “It is crucial for local municipalities to take their own measures in combatting climate change especially at a time when the federal government chooses to ignore the very real impacts it causes.”

 

As part of additional efforts to reach the City’s 2025 commitments, AIS has purchased 95,000 Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Midwestern wind farms – a critical step in helping the City transition all municipal buildings to renewable energy sources within the next five years.

“It is crucial for local municipalities to take their own measures in combatting climate change especially at a time when the federal government chooses to ignore the very real impacts it causes”

The initial REC purchase secures a renewable energy supply for several of Chicago’s most iconic municipal buildings including City Hall, the Chicago Cultural Centre and Harold Washington Library. The purchase covers nearly 180 facilities citywide including many neighbourhood buildings such as libraries and fire stations.

 

“The City is looking forward to securing a renewable energy supplier that will help Chicago achieve its goal of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025,” said AIS commissioner David Reynolds. “It is especially important for the City to give a boost to the local green economy, create green jobs and expand renewable energy infrastructure in all of our communities.”

 

Once a new contract is established, the City anticipates providing other municipal entities, including sister agencies, with the ability to execute their own contracts with the City’s selected provider using the commercial framework established by the City’s RFP process.

 

The renewable energy supply RFP can be found at chicago.gov/bids. Applications are due by 6 November 2020, and the City plans to announce the chosen vendor for this contract in January 2021.

 

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