Metro Council approves decades-long plan to go green

Posted at 10:40 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 10:41:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville plans to have all metro buildings run on renewable energy within the next 25 years, according to a plan approved by Metro Council members.

"In some ways it's a completely pleasant surprise," Council Member Freddie O'Connell, who sponsored the trio of bills, said. "This kind of gives us some building blocks."

Those blocks are outlined in the three bills approved Tuesday night.

One bill requires metro buildings to be run completely by renewable energy sources by 2041, with several benchmarks along the way. Another bill says by 2050, metro's fleet of cars would be made up entirely of zero-emission vehicles. First responder cars, like MNPD patrol cars or fire engines, are exempt from that law.

A third bill sets green standards for buildings being built or renovated by Metro Nashville.

"Nashville is among the cities that looks around the world and says this is a place that we not only can but should be leading," O'Connell said.

The bill only focuses on metro operations, and doesn't interfere with private businesses, but O'Connell said he hopes it serves as an inspiration to people around the mid-state.

"I hope it gets Nashvillians to say wait a second, this is low cost," he said.

O'Connell said there is no upfront cost; cars and buildings will be replaced on their current schedule. Those replacements and renovations will cost more than less-green alternatives, but O'Connell estimated total energy savings for the metro could reach more than $450,000.