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Renewable Energy and Efficiency

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 Tempe is Committed to Clean Energy

Midday view of solar panels with mountains in the distance

Energy use accounts for 70% of Tempe’s municipal carbon emissions and 56% of our community-wide emissions. Tempe must transition to a clean energy economy to meet its carbon neutrality goals and to grow an energy economy that works for all Tempeans.

Tempe has an opportunity to be a leader in creating a clean energy economy in Arizona. By investing in clean energy and energy-efficient technology, we can

  •  improve health outcomes

  • save money

  •  create jobs.

Tempe is taking Action to reduce municipal energy use by investing in technologies that use less energy and by powering city buildings, streetlights, and water treatment facilities with renewable energy to achieve carbon neutrality in municipal operations by 2050. By becoming carbon neutral, Tempe is setting a precedent for Tempe residents, businesses, and other cities to prioritize investing in energy-efficiency. 

Carbon neutrality performance measures 

Community Carbon Neutrality (4.18)

Reduce community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 80% of 2015 levels by 2050 and achieve community carbon neutrality by 2060.CO2 In metric tons

Baseline: 3,667,560 Metric Tons of CO2 (MT CO2e)
Target: Reduction by 80% = 733,512 MT CO2e by 2050 and Carbon Neutrality = 0 MT CO2e by 2060

Municipal Carbon Neutrality (4.19)

“Achieve the City Council goal of carbon neutrality in municipal operations by 2050 with a strategy of 100% renewable energy by 2035.”

Baseline (2015) and Current: 40,670 metric tons
Target: carbon neutral [KB1].


Program Highlight:

Johnny G Martinez Water Treatment Plant Solar Project

Clear Blue Sky and solar panels with surrounding treesJohnny G Martinez Water Treatment Plant (JGMWTP) is a water facility that filters 50 million gallons per day, providing clean drinking water to roughly half of Tempe residents. In March 2018, the JGMWTP solar project was completed and interconnected, which helped the city reach a milestone of powering 10% of city operations with renewable energy. The 1.2 MW DC PV system, installed through a partnership with Tesla, has over 2,000 solar panels on two reservoir roofs at the JGMWTP. This system provides 30% of the plant’s power needs each year, with an estimated utility savings of $530,000 over the next 20 years. In the first year alone, these solar panels will produce nearly 1.8 million kWh of energy and reduced carbon emissions in city operations by more than 1,280 MT, equivalent to taking 270 vehicles off the road. This project could also eventually add battery storage to make our treatment plant more resilient. These strides towards making Tempe municipal operations energy-efficient can grow the clean energy economy, improve the quality of life for residents, and reduce the GHG emissions coming from grid-supplied energy.

What's Next?

Resilient Energy Hubs

The City of Tempe will partner with SRP and APS to pilot resilient energy hubs to demonstrate how solar and battery storage can be used in the case of an extreme heat emergency. Tempe and our utilities can demonstrate the need for solar with battery storage to support clean and resilient energy solutions in every Tempe neighborhood. 

Utility-Scale Solar 

The City of Tempe will pursue utility-scale solar opportunities with SRP and APS in order to support their efforts to replace coal power plants and other carbon-emitting energy sources with clean energy solutions, including large solar power plants. 

Facilities Sustainability Plan

Internal Services, Engineering and Transportation, and the Office of Sustainability will complete a plan to determine where the City can make clean energy economy investments. 

The City of Tempe has strengthened its commitment to sustainability by adopting a new carbon neutrality goal by 2050 and a strategy of sourcing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035.  

Read about our commitment. 

Municipal Carbon Reduction and Renewable Energy Policy