While energy efficiency and conservation can do a great deal to help us lower our energy use, we will still need clean, reliable, sustainable sources of energy. That's where renewable energy comes in. Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished and include biomass, hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, solar thermal, wave action, and tidal action. Renewable energy sources can be used in large, utility-scale installations, like huge wind farms, or they can be used in decentralized, individual applications, like a roof-mounted solar electric or solar hot water system.
In May 2017, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority officially launched Humboldt County's Community Choice Energy Program. This program brings more local renewable energy and lower energy prices to Humboldt County. Residents and businesses in Humboldt County have the power to opt up to a premium service called REpower+, which is 100% renewable energy and costs just $0.01 more per kilowatt hour.
The City of Arcata encourages its citizens to use renewable energy sources wherever possible. In an effort to lead by example, the City has installed 2 solar electric systems on City facilities. These include a 12.1 kilowatt (kW) grid-tied, rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed at City Hall and a 2.3 kW grid-tied, rooftop solar PV system at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center.