The city of Lancaster has been named a Green Power Community by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the first city to receive that designation in Southern California.

The Antelope Valley city was recognized for its efforts on utilizing zero-emissions electricity.

Mayor R. Rex Parris said the EPA designation shows that the city is on the right path.

“Lancaster is working hard to give our residents and businesses easier access to renewable energy, as we strive to become a zero net energy city,” Parris said in a prepared statement.

A Green Power Community is an area that prioritizes the use of alternative power – solar, wind and geothermal – in large quantities. Lancaster has numerous solar installations it owns within the city as well as those built by private operators that supply power to the city-owned Lancaster Choice Energy.

The utility became operational in 2015 and provides power to residents and businesses through its own sources and distributes it on lines owned by Southern California Edison.