Lacey is one of Puget Sound’s most livable communities. In addition to being a safe, inviting, and economically vibrant city, Lacey is at the forefront of environmentally friendly energy use and development.
Environmental sustainability covers a wide range of issues including: greenhouse gas emissions, green building, electricity use and sourcing, water use, transportation, waste and recycling, urban forestry, and education. The City has been a leader on many sustainability issues and is committed to continual improvement.
In 2020 Thurston County and the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater worked with staff from the Thurston Regional Planning Council to craft a strategic framework for reducing climate polluting greenhouse gases while maintaining—and even improving—our quality of life. To read the full plan, visit the project website here.
The Lacey City Council adopted the Thurston County Climate Mitigation Plan on September 16, 2021 as part of its 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendments.
Lacey was one of the first cities and entities to sign on to PSE’s Green Direct program.
Green Direct is a ground-breaking initiative designed by PSE that allows government and commercial customers the ability to purchase 100 percent of their energy from a dedicated, local, renewable energy resource, while providing them with a stable, cost-efficient solution.
This program furthers PSE’s deep decarbonization goals and accelerates the move towards clean electricity by 2045, as called for in Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act.
The first project developed for the Green Direct program is the Skookumchuck Wind Facility. Construction began in 2019 and the project went into operation November 2020. It can produce up to 137 megawatts (MW) of wind energy—equivalent to powering 30,000 homes.
The project, owned by Southern Power, is located on Weyerhaeuser timber land, located in Lewis and Thurston counties. It is the first large-scale wind project located in Western Washington; and the first in the state to be located on working forest land.
A second project for Green Direct, the Lund Hill Solar Project, is under development by Avangrid Renewables in Klickitat County, Washington. At 150 megawatts of energy, this second project would be the largest solar project in the state of Washington. Visit Puget Sound Energy’s website here to learn more.
Lacey has been designated an official “Green Power Community” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of its commitment to green power use—the twelfth such city in the nation. Nearly 6 percent of the collective electrical energy used in Lacey’s homes, businesses and offices is now green power, resulting in an annual reduction of approximately 11,614 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—equivalent to the amount of carbon stored annually by 2,247 acres of native forest.
In addition to the renewable energy utilized by Lacey’s residents and businesses, the community meets all electrical needs for its municipal buildings (including city hall, the library, community center, senior center, museum and public works operations center) as well as its water, reclaimed water, wastewater and stormwater utilities, all parks and recreation facilities, and more than 3,000 streetlights and traffic signals through the exclusive use of green power.
To learn more about renewable energy and green power, call Puget Sound Energy at 1 (800) 562-1482, or browse to pse.com.
The City of Lacey has been a leader in environmental protection, conservation, and smart growth. We’ve been busy reducing our environmental footprint, winning awards, and making a positive impact. Here are a few highlights:
Green Power Community. Since 2007, all Lacey’s municipal buildings (including city hall, the library, community center, museum, and public works operations center) as well as all city utility systems, parks and recreation facilities, and more than 4,300 street lights are powered by “100 percent green” electrical energy from renewable energy credits.
Green Power Buy Direct. The City was among the first to sign on to PSE’s “Buy Direct” program, which directly support the Skookumchuck Wind Facility. See our “Renewable Energy” page for details.
Fleet Conversion. Nearly all of Lacey’s new municipal vehicles are capable of being powered by either electricity or 80/20 biofuel, meeting the challenge set by Washington’s State Legislature that publicly-owned vehicles be powered by alternative energy by the year 2015.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. Visitors and employees arriving at Lacey City Hall and the Lacey Library in electric vehicles are able to access charging stations in parking areas.
LED Traffic Signals. Lacey was the first Thurston County community to incorporate light-emitting diode (LED) technology into all of its traffic signals.
Multi-modal Transportation Choices. In 2005, Lacey rail banked several miles of the Burlington Northern – Santa Fe railroad line through the center of the city and has begun its conversion to a Class I urban trail. This investment provides true alternative transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians to core employment areas in the community, and intersects with the 23-mile Chehalis Western Trail with connections to communities in southern Thurston County.
Residential Recycling. Lacey partnered with a local refuse hauler in the early 1990s to pilot a residential recycling program that became a model for other Washington cities.
Urban Forestry. Lacey was also one of the first cities in the state to receive the “Tree City USA” designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation. Learn about Lacey’s Tree Protection programs.
Wetland and Environmental Protection. Lacey was one of the first cities in the state to adopt an environmental protection ordinance. Enacted in 1992, the regulations require protection of wetlands and other critical habitat areas.
Reclaimed Water Use. Lacey’s reclaimed water is produced by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. The Class A treated wastewater is suitable for a number of non-potable uses, including groundwater recharge and irrigation. Eventually, seventy percent of Lacey’s municipal wastewater will be recycled as reclaimed water.
Stormwater Treatment. The majority of stormwater runoff from streets and parking lots is now receiving treatment before entering Woodland Creek. The last major outfall is now receiving proper treatment with the opening of a state-of-the-art facility that uses reclaimed water to recharge shallow aquifers feeding Lacey’s Woodland Creek.
Salmon Habitat Restoration. Improving habitat along Woodland Creek through the center of Lacey is a top priority—and nearly 90 percent of the creek’s corridor is now protected in the city. Projects have included fish weirs, habitat restoration, and property purchases to preserve pristine tracts of land along the creek.
U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Lacey is a signatory city on the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging to take steps to create a more sustainable community. In addition, Lacey joined ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability, a membership organization of local governments committed to advancing climate protection and sustainable development.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). In 2009, the City of Lacey received an allocation of $164,900 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which was administered through the Department of Energy.
Carbon Reduction and Resiliency (CR2) Plan. In 2010 the City created its first comprehensive climate plan. The City met its goals for municipal operations carbon emission reduction and is continuing to work on community emissions under the new Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan. See our Climate Change page for details.
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm