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Renewable energy for Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties

DVRPC currently has a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Counties are also exploring renewable energy sources close to homes, and Montgomery County is considering a potential hydroelectric dam in Norristown as a way to reach net zero as quickly as possible.

“This is not just a local problem. When it comes to climate, it is a global issue,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Neil Makhija. “But to the extent that we haven’t had the robust (federal) policies required, local and state governments need to get creative with the levers we can use to make a difference. And this is one of the ways that is within our power, which is literally using our purchasing power.

In the coming months, SEPSA will establish guidelines for renewable energy; Montgomery County officials said one goal would be to promote the expansion of renewable energy production in the region and statewide, as well as support job creation in southeastern Pennsylvania.

In 2025, the first year of the contract, WGL Energy will begin by purchasing conventional power from PJM, which in 2022 consisted of 6.8% wind and solar power. In the future, SEPSA will need to find other renewable energy sources on the market or develop a source itself through a power purchase agreement similar to Philadelphia’s Adams County solar field.

Makhija said collaboration among the four counties on climate impacts and adaptation issues could extend beyond SEPSA.

“Facing the realities of climate change, we are taking action, we are doing everything we can, and this is one of the things we can take a step on, at least locally, by advocating for other measures at the state and federal level,” he said.