Our region is known throughout the world as a place where big, game-changing ideas are born and take hold. A great example was the announcement last week that 19 Bay Area public agencies, including the City of Fremont, are joining together to request proposals for bringing clean, renewable energy to up to 187 publicly owned buildings and spaces in the Bay Area, with construction beginning in late 2014.

The Regional Renewable Energy Project (RREP) is the largest collaborative purchase of renewables in the nation. By joining together, government agencies benefit from shared expertise as well as advantageous pricing due to economies of scale. If all the proposed installations occur, the project will result in about 31 megawatts of electricity, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the amount generated by 6,300 average-sized homes, while also creating hundreds of new jobs.

Installing renewable systems at municipal properties is one of many strategies the City of Fremont is pursuing to achieve the ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goal (25 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020) laid out in the City’s Climate Action Plan. And with five locations tabbed for sizable solar photovoltaic systems – the Main Library; the Police Building Complex; the Fremont Bank Aqua Adventure Water Park; the City Maintenance Center; and the Irvington Community Center – Fremont is poised to make significant progress toward its goal. This makes sense, since we sure get a lot of sun here in Silicon Valley East.