Kansas City government working to be 100 percent carbon free

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Missouri government is moving to buy all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by the end of 2020.

Making the change to renewable energy is designed to save taxpayers money.

The city is Kansas City Power and Light's largest customer.

And the utility would build a renewable generator, probably a wind farm, to supply all of the electricity for municipal operations as part of a 20 year deal.

City Hall already is an Energy Star certified building, but under the plan, the city would also upgrade 18 or 19 other city buildings to become more efficient and Energy Star certified.

And the city would start buying more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

There are already four electric buses at KCI Airport, and the city has a grant to buy four more.

Finally, the city may provide about 25 acres to KCPL for a solar energy farm.

The utility claims it already has customers who want to buy clean electricity, and they're willing to pay $5 more a month to get it.

"It will definitely save money because with wind energy there’s a program in place," Scott Taylor said, 6th district city councilman. "Kansas City Power and Light will be handling the construction part of the wind farm. That’s not something we will be putting any dollars out for, but yeah, there will be a savings for the city. It’s a savings for all taxpayers because electricity is paid out of our general fund."

Despite President Donald Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, Kansas City is joining a growing number of American cities taking the lead in trying to meet the goals of the agreement on their own, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions up to 30 percent in the next 10 years.

If successful, Kansas City would join New York City in becoming one of the first American cities to use 100 percent carbon free electricity.

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