Small city makes big goal to become Clean Energy City

It's a small town hoping to make a big difference. Safety Harbor is now the ninth city in Florida to commit to a future of 100% clean energy.

"We thought it was important to do our part in being a responsible community," Mayor of Safety Harbor Joe Ayoub said. "2035 for the city government to be 100% renewable, and then 2050 for all of city-wide to be 100% renewable."

The goal will prove to be no small task, but with other Bay Area cities already paving the way, the future seems promising.

"We want to work as a region. We're trying to speak to our state leadership, our energy provider leadership with one voice saying this is something we really want to get to," St. Petersburg Sustainability Director Sharon Wright said.

St. Petersburg led the charge back in 2016 as the first in the state to promise to become a Clean Energy City.

Three years ago, the city’s goal was to reduce greenhouse emissions by 20% by 2020. It has made progress, getting closer to depending on green power alternatives such as wind and solar.

"In 2018, Solar United Neighbors were able to help our residents install over a megawatt of solar energy," Wright said.

Safety Harbor hopes to reflect St. Petersburg’s model

"We don't know how we're going to get there yet, but we know it's achievable, and we know we need to at least make the goal so we can start working towards something," the mayor said.

The goals may seem ambitious but both communities agree that each small step along the way will help to create a cleaner future.

Safety Harbor is developing a plan to execute the new goal. Officials hope to have a plan in place within the next year.