DULUTH, Minnesota – Duluth’s efforts to combat climate change are getting a boost from the US Department of Energy.
The city was one of 22 locations selected to participate in the Communities LEAP pilot program. Federal officials will work with the city to provide guidance on how they can reduce air pollution, increase energy resilience and reduce energy costs in the Lincoln Parks neighborhood.
“It’s a bit like getting free consulting services,” says Mindy Granley, sustainability officer for the City of Duluth. “What are the solutions there? These are people who spend their days and nights thinking and breathing in energetic solutions. So bringing them to town and getting their help consulting with us and charting that path is really exciting.
The city credits past efforts for their selection, such as identifying climate mitigation goals, establishing an energy fund, investing in the Lincoln Park Solar Garden, and releasing a report on the carbon disclosure project and a climate work plan.
Granley says some of the goals they want to see achieved for Lincoln Park are to make homes more energy efficient, implement a cleaner public transportation system, and create local jobs as those goals are achieved. .
Ecolibrium3 will accompany the city in this program, as they did for the application file. They want to see a plan that will help them improve neighborhood housing and the commercial district by converting buildings from fossil fuels to electricity, supporting the port and making the Lincoln Park Hub a gathering place in the event of an outage. of the electrical network.
“By putting resources into this neighborhood, we can move this neighborhood forward for the benefit of our residents and our businesses,” says Jodi Slick, Founder and CEO of Eco3, “as we craft the larger plan for the city.” .
Once a plan is in place, Slick and Granley say they will seek local, state and federal grants and funding to achieve their goals. Granley adds that what they learn from this program will likely help them make similar decisions for other parts of Duluth.