The California State Senate has passed a resolution recognizing the city of Lancaster’s many successful Alternative Energy and Climate Change initiatives. Senate Resolution 62, introduced by Senator Scott Wilk (R – Antelope Valley), passed by a vote of 36-0 in designating Lancaster as an Alternative Energy Research Center of Excellence for the state of California.
“It is with great honor and humility that we receive this prestigious designation,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We look forward to continuing to implement many more innovative projects, in order to live up to the very high expectations which accompany such a designation.”
Senate Resolution 62 highlights Lancaster for establishing itself as a global leader in implementing partnerships and initiatives, in order to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change; as well as for being recognized and honored regionally, nationally and internationally as an exemplary municipal leader in the field of alternative energy.
In 2015, Lancaster became the first municipality in Southern California Edison territory to form a Community Choice Aggregator, as well as its own utility service provider, Lancaster Choice Energy. More recently, the city proactively formed a hybrid joint powers authority, the California Choice Energy Authority; so that it could more easily assist other municipalities in achieving their own Community Choice Aggregation goals—such as, ‘taking back the power’ by gaining local control of their energy rates.
“Senate Resolution 62 recognizes the city of Lancaster for its innovative and revolutionary efforts to implement alternative energy initiatives and projects,” said Wilk. “Policymakers throughout the state recognize and commend Lancaster for its advancements in the field of alternative energy.”
Due in large part to these innovative efforts, in 2013, Lancaster was able to become home to the North American production plant of world-renowned electric vehicle manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD). The plant has already resulted in hundreds of well-paying production, engineering and management jobs in the Antelope Valley region. In addition, the company is expected to soon expand operations within an upcoming large-scale expansion of the plant.
Lancaster has also been working closely with its local Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in order to ensure North Los Angeles County will soon be home to the nation’s first 100% electric bus fleet. In fact, just last week, the Lancaster-based BYD plant delivered the first all-electric articulated bus to be added to AVTA’s growing electric fleet. The bus has already carried hundreds of north county residents to and from work, school, and other destinations.
“I strongly feel that in order for cities to succeed within this increasingly competitive world marketplace, it is imperative that we at the national, state and local levels work together to assure we are providing as business-friendly an environment as possible,” added Mayor Parris. “Senator Wilk and I will continue to work closely together to ensure Lancaster remains a leader in these endeavors. It is only through such partnerships that we can secure a safe and prosperous future for our residents. I’m excited about all of the future initiatives we will work on together, along with the state of California, to advance our nation’s goals.”