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Tempe Halfway To Renewable Energy Goal

(Photo courtesy City of Tempe)
THe Johnny G. Martinez Water Treatment's solar project will generate 1,800,000 kWh of energy in the next year.

Tempe is halfway to its goal of getting 20 percent of the power for city operations from renewable energy by 2025.

The completion of a solar project at the Johnny G. Martinez Water Treatment plant boosts the city’s renewable energy use to 10 percent.

“We think that this project and future energy investments are a good opportunity to walk the talk and inspire other residents and businesses to make similar investments,” said Grace DelMonte Kelly, Tempe’s energy management coordinator.

The project encompasses 2,052 solar panels and will supply 30 percent of the treatment plant’s power. This is the second water-treatment plant the city outfitted with solar panels. The first is South Water Treatment Plant, which was finished in 2014.

“About a third of the city’s energy use is from treating water that becomes drinking water for residents,” Kelly said.

The project is a collaboration between Tempe and SRP. Estimates show Tempe will save $530,000 in utilities in the next 20 years.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.