The Narragansett Bay Commission owns and operates the two largest wastewater treatment facilities in the state. Cleaning water is expensive, which is why the wastewater agency is aiming to run on 100 percent renewable energy within two years.
Agency officials are planning to buy or produce more energy than they need to balance fluctuations dictated by weather. If a power system were to go down, then the agency would still get electricity from the regional grid.
The commission has reduced its energy usage by more than 8 percent since 2003 through conserving energy alone. Later this fall, officials will look into buying solar energy.
Changes at the local level, if carried forward by enough utilities, can change the carbon balance of our planet.