How Urban Electric is building a new future in the city
Posted On July 28, 2021
Urban electric power generation, which is now part of the nation’s electricity mix, is being scaled back to focus on smaller, cheaper projects.
In a new article in The American Prospect, reporter Andrew Prokop explores how the new urban electric projects are building a more sustainable future.
The article cites a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that found that nearly all urban electric plants have experienced some degree of decline in the last decade.
According to Prokamp, that means the industry is starting to recognize that the current infrastructure, which supports and maintains the status quo, has serious risks of decline and degradation.
“The question is, how can we build something new in the future that’s going to be more sustainable?”
“How can we make electric infrastructure more resilient?”
In the article, Prokamps examines the recent construction of the Urban Butterfly project in Baltimore, a $3.2 billion project to install a large solar array on the waterfront.
The project is being overseen by the city’s Department of Transportation, and is expected to bring some 1,500 jobs to the area.
The UBI project is a joint venture between the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Development Corp. The city is buying solar panels and installing the solar array at the port of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, according to Prokwamp.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the project a “transformational investment for the city and region,” and the city is working with other cities across the country to implement similar projects.
“It’s a bold vision,” Rawlings, who is also a former state lawmaker, told Prokump.
“And it’s something that will help Baltimore to be the leading city in the country for the next 30 years.”
“It also means that, hopefully, we can get the jobs in this city, and hopefully, the city can become a leader in this sector, too,” Rawls-Blake said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“That’s what the city of Baltimore is working to do, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”
The Baltimore-based UBI is the first of its kind in the U, a national initiative to expand electric infrastructure that includes rooftop solar and wind farms.
“We’re not building a large piece of infrastructure,” said Dan Loughran, the head of the city transportation department.
“But we are going to build solar arrays, and we are trying to get the airports built.”
Loughron added that the airport is also expected to generate enough electricity for the Baltimore metro area to meet its needs.
Loughrins-Blake added that Baltimore’s mayor is a major supporter of electric projects.
The mayor is also on the board of UBI, and she is looking forward to the future, Loughrean told Prokwump.
The new project is expected be completed by 2020.