On January 28, 2021, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced that the county has entered into a power purchase agreement with Rye Development to purchase 7.4 MW of renewable electricity from a new low-impact, run-of-river hydroelectric facility to be located on the Ohio River. The 35-year agreement and financial investment makes possible the development and financing of new renewable energy capacity right in the county.
This is an exciting announcement. The county’s leadership means more renewable energy will be generated, creating a path for users to move from reliance on fossil fuels to fully renewable energy. The location of the hydroelectric facility here also means that we can support our local economy and continue to grow the clean energy jobs that has made Allegheny County a leader in that space.
Currently, Allegheny County uses approximately 50,000 MWh of electricity a year for its buildings and operations. The majority of its energy is purchased through a consortium of buyers which shifted in 2021 to making its energy purchases from 100% renewable sources, although many of those sources are not local.
The energy purchased by this agreement and its associated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) will cover over 90% of the county’s annual load with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Combined with the county’s continued enhanced energy efficiency measures, it won’t be long before the county will achieve its goal for 100% renewable energy through local sources.