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Hanover Leading NH to 100-Percent Renewable Energy

Hanover, N.H., residents will vote later this spring on a zoning amendment to allow large scale solar farms. (mrganso/Pixabay)
Hanover, N.H., residents will vote later this spring on a zoning amendment to allow large scale solar farms. (mrganso/Pixabay)
January 12, 2018

HANOVER, N.H. – With the federal government now promoting fossil fuels, cities and towns in New Hampshire and across the nation are leading the way to boost renewable energy.

Last May, Hanover, New Hampshire, became the first municipality in the country to commit by community vote to achieving 100 percent renewable energy. It is one of the communities profiled in a new case study of 10 cities and towns that have made that commitment.

Allyson Samuell, associate organizing representative with the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign, says Hanover is on its way to getting all of its electricity from renewables by the year 2030.

"The town is investing $50,000 every year into energy efficiency improvements,” says Samuell. “They're also looking at opportunities for more solar power in the region, potentially partnering with Dartmouth College on that."

Hanover plans to be fueling its heat and transportation with renewable power by 2050. Nationwide, about 50 municipalities are now committed to 100 percent renewable energy.

And the movement is spreading in New Hampshire. Samuel says three other cities and towns are preparing to switch to renewables, including the state capital.

"We've been working with the Concord Energy Committee, and they're building up to a commitment in the City of Concord this year,” she says. “But it has spread to many, many communities across the state."

The New Hampshire towns of Cornish and Plainfield also are planning to vote on going 100 percent renewable at town meetings coming up in March.

Samuell adds that this year, Hanover hopes to hire a sustainability director to assist the community in reaching its goal.

"The town has made this commitment and is working to not only transition the town's power to 100 percent renewable energy, but also support our residents in making that transition," says Samuell.

At their May town meeting, Hanover residents will vote on an amendment to the town's zoning ordinance to allow for construction of large scale solar farms.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NH