Energy Innovation Task Force
Leaders in our local government, business and nonprofit community banded together in early 2016 with the goal of curbing our demand for fossil fuels and creating clean energy programs through the Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF). After two years of strategizing, the Blue Horizons Project and its Energy Upgrade Program emerged from the task force’s work in March 2018.
Members of the EITF include representatives from the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, Duke Energy Progress, Green Built Alliance, Sierra Club, Green Opportunities, Mission Hospital, Biltmore Farms, New Belgium Brewing, Buncombe County Tourism Development Association, UNC Asheville, Self-Help Credit Union, Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Sundance Power, Community Action Opportunities, and the Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and Environment.
The goals of the EITF are to:
- Avoid the need for a 186MW natural gas peaker plant by 2023. This peaker plant would only be scheduled to be used a few times a year on the coldest winter mornings. Peaker plants are like big jet engines—powerful and inefficient.
- Transition Western North Carolina to a cleaner, smarter and more affordable energy future rooted in community collaboration. Through making our homes more energy-efficient and implementing strategies to reduce our demand, we can shift the need for this peaker plant and use this opportunity to steer our community toward that clean energy future.
Informed by the work of the EITF and these goals, Green Built Alliance now has two full-time staff members charged with rolling out the Blue Horizons Project and its Energy Upgrade Program.
To support this community effort, visit the Blue Horizons Project website to connect with the many programs and technologies that exist to help you make your home more efficient, including incentives from Duke Energy Progress. Conservation behaviors will also help reduce our need for fossil fuels. Only through a community effort can we eliminate the need for this fossil fuel power plant and shift to a clean energy future.
Learn more by reading our 2017 directory article on this topic. For the most updated information on the EITF, including meeting presentations and program recommendations, visit the City of Asheville EITF page.