Pittsburgh, PA – In support of our mission to protect the environment through the delivery of safe and reliable water services with a commitment to future generations, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is demonstrating its commitment to clean energy and a more sustainable future. By amending our agreement with our current electricity supplier, we are committing to the purchase of wind power and the use of clean energy to support the production and operations of water services.
Specifically, the PWSA board approved an amendment to a 2021 agreement with Direct Energy and NRG as part of a region-wide energy cost and consumption reduction program with the Western PA Energy Consortium (WPEC). Under this amendment, WPEC has committed to purchasing 61,320 MWhs of wind power annually, accounting for approximately 40% of the group's total load. PWSA holds the largest share at 30% of the total, underlining our strong commitment to sustainable energy practices.
“It takes vast amounts of energy to pump and filter water throughout Pittsburgh, and by committing to this portion of wind generated power, PWSA will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 3,000 gasoline powered cars off the road each year,” said James J. Stitt, PWSA Sustainability Manager.
This amendment underscores PWSA's mission to protect the environment and aligns with the goals outlined in the City of Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, including achieving full carbon-neutrality by 2050 and procuring 100% renewable electricity for all purchased energy by 2030. Additionally, this agreement further safeguards the region’s energy needs by providing a long-term hedge against rising energy prices.
Committed to fostering sustainable practices, PWSA has been an active participant in WPEC's clean energy initiatives since 2008. To advance its renewable energy goals, WPEC, in collaboration with PWSA, initiated this amendment to the original Direct Energy Agreement. The main goal is to align the contract term end date from 2026 to 2029 to meet the requirements of the Wind Energy supplier that is part of our regional electricity grid network.
The WPEC combines energy and clean energy purchases in bulk for its members, including the City of Pittsburgh, PWSA, the Sports and Exhibition Authority (SEA), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), and prominent nonprofits like the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. Collaboratively, these entities work towards a greener and more energy-efficient community.
"We are proud of our ongoing partnership with WPEC and its member organizations on this transformative journey towards clean energy," said Will Pickering, PWSA Chief Executive Officer. "This amendment brings us closer to our clean energy goals, while also promoting a sustainable and resilient future for our customers and the City of Pittsburgh."
PWSA remains committed to its role as a responsible steward of the environment and will continue to collaborate with WPEC and other partners to make significant strides in reducing carbon emissions and fostering a greener future for generations to come.