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Sunny Side Up: Buncombe Commits to 100% Feasible Solar at Schools, Upgrading Motor Fleet to Zero-Emission Vehicles

Looking to significantly move the needle on Buncombe County’s goal of increasing renewable energy, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to install solar energy at 100% of feasible facilities at Asheville City and Buncombe County schools along with A-B Tech. The resolution, approved on Oct. 19, will also have the County begin adding to its zero-emission vehicle portfolio by purchasing and replacing gas-fueled cars and trucks.

Commission Chair Brownie Newman touts the initiative as a money-saving investment that will reduce payments to Duke Energy by upward of $27 million over the lifespan of the projects. The resolution calls for all solar projects to be installed or under contract by 2025, helping with the County’s Strategic Plan priority of environmental and energy stewardship.

The next step will be a feasibility analysis of all campuses and facilities to see where solar panels would be beneficial. In regard to replacing vehicles, the policy states: “The County commits to the goal of transitioning its entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles in the most expeditious and financially responsible manner possible.”

Resolutions