By Rita Cook

The City of Cedar Hill is growing green and it is intentional.
“In Cedar Hill we are blessed with a beautiful natural environment that expresses much of our quality of life,” says long-time City of Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke. “Our ‘Growing Green’ initiative is our decision to be intentional; to learn about new technologies, encourage conservation, reuse, and preservation, maintain the distinctive character and wholesome lifestyle in our city, and act on our stewardship responsibility.”

In addition to solar energy, which was introduced in the city earlier this year as well as electric vehicles and enhanced recycling services to its residents, Cedar Hill now can boast its first ever wind turbine.  

The 4.5 kW wind turbine system located at the city’s Government Center looks more like a piece of public art than it does a generator of electricity.  
Installed by Cummings Electrical of Fort Worth, the wind turbine was manufactured by Urban Green Energy (UGE-4K) 4kW 2nd generation vertical axis wind turbine.
“The wind turbine does many things,” says Melissa A. Stephens, Cedar Hill’s Assistant City Manager.  “First and foremost, it serves as a symbol of dedication to green technology and renewable energy as the City is Growing Green.  The Cedar Hill Government Center is a one-of-a-kind location that residents and visitors can view and experience various forms of renewable energy to include Solar, Wind, Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.”  

Stephens adds that she does not anticipate installing any new renewable energy projects, including wind turbines, unless it makes sense in all three categories:  Socially (the community), Environmentally (carbon emissions), and Economically (ultimately saving the City money or is a grant funded project).“The City adopted a Sustainability Action plan that expressed the desire to offset the costs of electricity with renewable energy,” Stephens explains.  “In response to that direction, staff applied for and received a grant from the State Energy Conservation Office.”

In fact, the wind turbine system was fully funded by grants in the amount of $62,000 and is already promising to make money for the City.  Oncor is providing the City with a check in the amount of $1,550 in order to incentivize the City for using renewable technology.

As for the next Growing Green project in the works, Stephens says that is based on a grant the City received from the Bureau of Reclamation for a Smart Meter project for water metering.  “We should have a contract with the granting agency in September and begin project implementation shortly after, which includes planning, putting the project out to bid and implementation.”
The Government Center located at 285 Uptown Blvd. is strategically located and provides residents a single location to see and experience various forms of renewable technology, all the while saving citizens tax dollars.  The City will also be presenting its residents with an online portal, which is close to being complete showing, in real time, the amount of wind energy generated on a regular basis.

 “If we take away the political rhetoric from both sides of the environmental movement and the fears of change, it is easy to see the simple truths of good stewardship,” Franke concludes.

For more information on how the City is Growing Green refer to the City’s website at 

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Rita Cook is a freelance writer who has worked as a special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News and other major publications.