Energy Innovation Task Force

The Energy Innovation Task Force is a joint initiative between the City of Asheville, Buncombe County and Duke Energy Progress to research and recommend energy efficiency and demand-side management programs in Buncombe County. Members of the task force have been appointed from local government, environmental and clean energy advocates, large and small businesses, local institutions and Duke Energy Progress.


The Task Force


The Task Force Has Two Goals:

  1. Avoid or delay the construction of an additional natural gas powered combustion turbine power plant at the Asheville site in the year 2023
  2. Transition Western North Carolina to a cleaner, affordable, and smarter energy future through community engagement and collaboration that is mutually beneficial to the community, customers, and Duke Energy Progress


Regular Meeting Schedule


The current meeting schedule is the second Friday of every other month at 10:00 a.m. in the first floor conference room of the Buncombe County building at 200 College Street. The normal length of the meeting is two hours.

To receive meeting updates via email please join the Energy Innovation Task Force Information Google Group.


Notice: On January 28, 2020 City Council voted to dissolve the Energy Innovation Task Force to be replaced by the Blue Horizons Project Community Council. The final meeting of the Energy Innovation Task Force took place March 11, 2020. The City and County will issue a joint request for proposal (RFP) to contract with a nonprofit to implement the Blue Horizons Project and manage the Blue Horizons Project Community Council. The RFP is tentatively scheduled to be released April 13, 2020 and will be posted on Buncombe County’s procurement webpage.


Members: The Energy Innovation Task Force Member List


Work Groups


The Energy Innovation Task Force has formed working groups that will undertake research and discussion on specific aspects of the Energy Innovation’s work plan and are open to any member of the public.



Program Work Group:green energy concept of leaf inside a lightbulb

For more information please contact Sam Ruark-Eastes sign up for the Program Work Google Group


Technology Work Group:

Meetings occur the first Thursday of every month from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., for more information please contact Jon Landy


Community Engagement Work Group:

For more information please contact Sophie Mullinax or sign up for the Community Engagement Work Google Group


Peak Reduction Work Group:

For more information please sign up for the Peak Reduction Work Google Group


Get Involved


Through the research of the Energy Innovation Task Force the Blue Horizons Project was launched to assist residents and business owners reduce their energy consumption and invest in renewable energy.


Check out how you can get involved with the Blue Horizons Project.




Meeting Documents


06/14/2019 Agenda 6/14/2019 Documents
04/12/2019 Agenda 4/12/2019 Documents
02/08/2019 Agenda 02/08/2019 Documents
08/09/2019 Agenda 08/09/2019 Documents
10/11/2019 Agenda 10/11/2019 Documents
01/10/2020 Agenda 01/10/2020 Documents
03/11/2020 Agenda 03/11/2020 Documents


Contact Information


For archived materials please contact

Bridget Herring



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Energy Innovation Task Force News

climate change illustration
Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer signs Climate Mayors letter urging Congressional leadership to advance a sustainable economic recovery

  The City of Asheville has a strong record and long-standing commitment to sustainability. That’s why Mayor Esther Manheimer signed on to a letter sent  by Climate Mayors to Congressional leaders urging bold action to protect our planet and build a more just economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.    “Because only bold action can tackle [...]

City of Asheville selected to join other Southeastern cities to reduce food waste

  The City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability will begin working alongside other innovative cities in the Southeast to develop and implement  food waste initiatives. The City was selected as a participant in the Natural Resources Defense Council  Food Matters Project. The Food Matters project partners with cities [...]

solar rooftop array
Solar energy systems to be installed on City of Asheville facilities as part of joint City-County renewable energy initiative

  On July 28, Asheville City Council approved the construction of onsite solar systems at five (5) City facilities. The five Asheville City sites are Wall Street Parking Deck, Burton Street Community Center, Shiloh Recreation Center, Fire Station 10 and Fire Station 11.    Collectively, this project will install a combined total of 259 kW of solar photovoltaic [...]