City of Cincinnati Scores Millions for Renewable Energy Efforts

Cincinnati will use support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to boost municipal energy use from renewable sources

click to enlarge A rendering of a potential solar installation at Lunken Airport - City of Cincinnati
City of Cincinnati
A rendering of a potential solar installation at Lunken Airport

The City of Cincinnati's efforts to get much of its municipal power usage from renewable sources got a boost today from Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization founded by billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Cincinnati will receive a grant worth $2.5 million, including the value of technical support, as part of Bloomberg's American Cities Climate Challenge. The Queen City is one of 20 tapped for the program, which will provide $70 million in grants total. Cincinnati will be part of a two-year program designed to accelerate work already being done by the cities receiving the award.

“Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative mayors reach their goals,” Bloomberg said in a statement today. “We were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in ways that improve people’s lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done. Each of these winning cities brings those ingredients to the table — and we’re looking forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish.”

Cincinnati will use its grant to further efforts to install renewable energy technologies that will power Greater Cincinnati Water Works and eventually all municipal power needs. The city will also use the money and technical support to promote renewable energy in commercial and residential buildings, especially in downtown's coming 2030 District outlined in this year's Green Cincinnati Plan. Mayor John Cranley announced that Kroger would be a founding partner in that district during his State of the City Address last week.

The grant will help with those ambitious goals, officials who worked on the Green Cincinnati Plan say.

“The Green Cincinnati Plan development was a year-long process to create a shared vision of our sustainable future,” said Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability Coordinator Oliver Kroner. “Being selected by Bloomberg for the American Cities Climate Challenge will help make that community vision a reality.”

The accelerator program will provide Cincinnati with a team member who will help devise and implement sustainability policies, training for senior-level city leadership around sustainability and help with community engagement to ensure public input is gathered on projects.

"Cincinnati’s sustainability efforts continue to gain national and international attention. It has become clear that cities and local municipalities will lead the global effort to fight climate change, and Cincinnati is on the front lines,” Cranley said at a news conference today announcing the grant. “I am encouraged by the changes we are making, but we have a lot of work left to do.”

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