The color “green” might not come to mind when you think of the desert city of Tempe, Arizona. But Tempe is quickly emerging as a pioneer in the green energy movement.

Recently, the Tempe City Council approved a goal that calls for 20 percent of city property to use renewable energy by 2025. This is an increase of 5 percent from the state’s renewable energy standard of 15 percent that is currently in place.

The city is making a concerted effort to move away from its current dependency on non-renewable sources like gas and coal. In order to reach its goal of 20 percent renewable energy, the city plans to lean heavier on solar energy in the coming years.  Tempe’s four solar facilities will eventually produce about 2.2 megawatts of clean solar power. Eventually, the city hopes to transmit other alternative energies into fuel, as well.

“The city of Tempe has long been committed to sustainability,” explains Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “From being one of the first communities in the Valley with a recycling program to our new grease cooperative that eventually could produce bio fuels. Tempe is at the forefront.”

Aside from environmental benefits, Tempe’s sustainability movement could have a big financial impact as well. It is expected that Tempe’s green movement could save the city as much as $2.3 million over 20 years.

But the question remains: Will Tempe reach its goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2025? Many residents feel that the goal is achievable and could in fact be scaled upwards in the coming years.

We here at Viridian couldn’t be more thrilled to see the Tempe, Arizona community coming together to support green energy. Tempe is a shining example of how cities nationwide should be aiming for higher renewable energy use.