In recent years, “Going Green” has become a very trendy term that has taken on many different meanings. Although the trend may have led to a wide variety of efforts with various results, we strongly believe that the City of Goodyear has taken action to make our city a leader in sustainability now and in the future.
The City of Goodyear has been focused on being a leader in renewable energy for years. The strategy of our city has been to turn the development of clean energy into an economic engine. We believe that sustainability involves active participation from entrepreneurs and innovators as well as members of our community. We are always looking for ways to save energy and operating costs for our city facilities and to minimize our footprint, but our greater focus is to welcome and encourage production of solar and other clean energy manufacturers. Our strategy has been successful and as the markets for clean energy are multiplying, they will need to expand their operations nationally and internationally. The City of Goodyear remains ready and willing to demonstrate to these companies why we are a great location for their future operations and expansions.
In 2010, the City of Goodyear worked with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and the Arizona State Legislature to support efforts to expand the renewable energy industry in Arizona by creating a new tax incentive program for companies expanding or locating new renewable energy operation s in our state. The legislation helped Goodyear secure leaders in the industry, like Suntech, the world’s largest producer of solar panels. Suntech opened its first 117,000 square foot U.S. manufacturing plant right here in Goodyear. Since Suntech, we have been able to draw other renewable energy related companies like Saint-Gobain and AZZ Galvanizing. We fully intend to draw many more of these types of businesses to Goodyear in the future.
Our efforts to attract businesses that are focused on renewable energy would not mean anything if we didn’t also have the involvement and active participation of our residents and other members of our business community. In 2009, the City of Goodyear adopted a policy that established a flat permit fee of just $35 for residential solar systems and also just $35 per inverter for commercial systems. The flat fee program saves hundreds of dollars for homeowners and thousands of dollars on solar installations for businesses.
The residents of Goodyear have taken advantage of Goodyear’s incredible solar potential. There are currently 1,368 houses that have solar installations in Goodyear. This represents 10.5% of our cities’ single family homes. As a result, we have been designated by Arizona Smart Power as a “Solar Community.” Our businesses community has also joined in the effort. The Macy’s distribution center has installed a solar rooftop system that provides about 70% of the building’s electrical needs.
These and other efforts have made Goodyear a leader in renewable energy and we will continue to work hard to find more similar opportunities in the future. We continue to be approached by many companies that are finding new and interesting ways to produce energy from renewable sources and we will continue to analyze each opportunity and do what is best for our residents. Goodyear is, and will continue to be, on the forefront of expanding new technologies and programs related to the expanding technology of clean energy.
Written by Georgia Lord, was elected Mayor of the City of Goodyear in March of 2011. She has served on the Goodyear City Council since 2005 before resigning her position as Vice Mayor to run for Mayor.
Mayor Lord represents Goodyear on the Maricopa County Association of Governments Regional Council and Transportation Policy Committee, the WESTMARC Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and the West-MEC Bond Committee. Lord is actively involved in the Luke West Valley Partnership and has recently been asked to join the US Conference of Mayors’ Defense Transition Task Force. She also serves on the Arizona Tax Commission.
Lord serves as current Chair of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Ambassadors Steering Committee, the GPEC International Leadership Council, and the GPEC Board of Directors. GPEC awarded Mayor Lord the Certified Ambassador Award in recognition of her promotion and advancement of economic development in greater Phoenix.