The city of Laredo in Texas was originally called Villa de San Agustin de Laredo when it was established way back in 1755 as a Spanish colony. While scholars differ in what they believe as the origin of the name, the town may have taken its name from Laredo, Cantabria in Spain and soon became the capital of the independent Republic of the Rio Grande. It was ceded eventually to the United States after Texas Rangers occupied the town during the Mexican-American war in 1846 and was incorporated as a city in 1852.
As the biggest port of entry inland, Laredo’s economy revolves around commercial and industrial trade with Mexico, including warehousing, import/export agencies, banking institutions and assembly plants. As a premiere destination for shoppers from Northern Mexico, Laredo evolved as a prime destination for residential and small business facilities. The discovery of rich oil and gas deposits as part of its emerging power industry added a welcome boost to the city’s economic stability.
Laredo is home to some of the state’s Colonias or "communities" and has been a recipient of the Texas Colonias Hybrid Power Project which installed microgrid power systems that supplies electricity to the Colonias. Aside from enhancing the quality of life for people in these communities, the project increased awareness about their electric choice as well as make them understand the importance of energy conservation measures that the state and the city is implementing in general.
Part of these efforts includes the rollout of citywide energy efficiency programs that provided significant savings for the residential, small business, transportation and industrial sectors. These programs not only educate people about the efficient use of electricity but also teach them about renewable energy resources through training sessions, academic courses, community based general workshops, and online courses made available through the Internet.