On November 28th, the Keene Municipal Services, Facilities, and Infrastructure Committee voted 4 to 1 to send the 100% Renewable Energy resolution to city staff to draft revised language. Once rewritten, the resolution will make a return visit to the committee for passage before being sent to the full City Council for a vote. The goals set are for all electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 for the entire city and its residents. Then, by 2050, the goal is to have all energy used in the city to come from renewable sources.
This night was special because of the number of Keene residents and nearby townspeople and representatives from the Monadnock Energy Hub (MEH) in attendance. Steering Committee members Dori Drachman, John Kondos, Ann Shedd, and Peter Wotowiec all stepped up to make their voices heard on this important resolution. Shedd, leader of the Keene Energy & Climate Committee began with an example of a resiliency program from Sterling, MA that Keene could model. Kondos followed with an impassioned plea that we must act now. Drachman stated that surrounding towns such as her hometown of Peterborough look to Keene on such actions. Finally, Wotowiec ended by reading a letter of support from his employer, Bensonwood, for this resolution. Mary Ewell, program coordinator for MEH, did not want the council to forget the power of future generations to problem-solve and apply as-yet unimagined technological advances, considering that the goals are 10 and 30 years in the future. Many more citizens and members of local energy committees spoke during the evening, and the MEH steering committee and program coordinator were proud to have added their voices to such company. MEH plans to attend the next MSFI committee hearing when the revised language resolution is discussed, and the hope is to celebrate the final passage in the near future.