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Local initiative underway to fight climate change

Solar array near Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park
Chris Caya WBFO News

Several local institutions and local governments are teaming up to reduce the effects of climate change. As WBFO's Chris Caya the partners are planning to dramatically cut their use of fossil fuels. 

The initiative is known as Localizing Buffalo's Renewable Energy Future. It's being led by the University at Buffalo and includes SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Erie, the city of Buffalo and Erie County. The partners goal is to increase their use of clean renewable energy by 50 percent.  
    
"The idea here is that the university and our partners we look at the threat that climate change both poses now and will pose in a much greater situation as we go forward and we really need to ramp up our clean energy solutions. And this initiative is designed to do exactly that," said Ryan McPherson, UB's Chief Sustainability Officer.

McPherson says the  partners are looking to generate 100 megawatts of renewable energy by using on-site and off-site solar arrays. When complete it will divert about 82,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year - the equivalent of taking 17,000 cars off the road. McPherson says a request for proposals has gone out to solar energy developers.     
    
"We're not buying a $10 million solar array. We are buying the power that is coming from that. The developer is responsible for producing that power. We're not in the electricity business. There are others out there that do that much more effectively and efficiently."   

McPherson says RFPs are due next month and the process of selecting a developer should be complete by mid-June.