Dallas County has launched a plan to have all of its governmental buildings fully powered by renewable energy. County officials signed a three-year contract to purchase solar energy for the 55 buildings it owns, including a county jail, starting in January. The county will contract with nonprofit organization Public Power Pool, which works with governments and jurisdiction around Texas to coordinate energy contracts. Dallas County will be the first of 95 entities the organization works with to go for full renewable energy. As part of its contract, Dallas County is looking to find renewable energy that costs 10 percent or less than energy relying on fossil fuels. Public Power Pool officials said that per the county’s direction, it will source power for the buildings from a solar farm in Fort Bend County, located within the Houston metropolitan area.
Shifting to renewable energy and curbing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions is something county leaders hope will curb further temperature increases in the region. In Texas, average daily minimum and maximum temperatures rose by 2.2 degrees between 1895 and 2020, according to a state report. “We don’t have to wait for some magical future. We can do what we can do right now, today,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. Dallas County is also thinking green for its future projects. The county is prioritizing achieving LEED certifications for new developments and when renovating existing buildings. One building has already been LEED certified and three more are planned to achieve the standard.