PacifiCorp to add renewable energy sources, cut emissions

Western Resource Advocates today praised PacifiCorp’s statement that it plans to serve its customers in future years with energy that is “delivered affordably, reliably, and without greenhouse gas emissions.”

PacifiCorp filed its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan today. In an accompanying statement, the utility said that by 2030, it plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 60 percent below 2005 levels. PacifiCorp also outlined ambitious plans for adding new renewable energy generation sources and continuing to participate in the Western Energy Imbalance Market to optimize use of low-cost renewable resources.

“PacifiCorp’s goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and serve its customers with cost-effective renewable energy resources is commendable,” said Sophie Hayes, Western Resource Advocates’ senior staff attorney in Salt Lake City. “Many of the utility’s customers recognize the urgent need to decrease the carbon emissions that scientific consensus has determined are the drivers of climate change, in order to ensure a healthy future here in the West. At the same time, renewable wind and solar resources are now the most economic sources of electricity generation. Continuing participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market will also benefit PacifiCorp’s customers. We look forward to working with PacifiCorp as it takes further steps to transition from the rest of its coal fleet in the years ahead.”

PacifiCorp has announced plans to add several thousand megawatts of renewable solar and wind energy, along with new battery storage and a transmission line to facilitate the delivery of those resources. The utility, in its statement today, noted that it will rely heavily on the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) to help deliver the most economic electricity to its customers. Nine utilities across the West now participate in the EIM, and 11 more have committed to join by 2022. PacifiCorp said it plans to continue working with the other EIM utilities to facilitate the creation of a day-ahead market for further grid optimization benefits.

PacifiCorp plans to retire two-thirds of its coal fleet by 2030 and 83 percent by 2038. The utility would close 16 of its 24 coal units by 2030 and four more by 2038.

The utility serves customers across six states: California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Utah makes up the largest share of PacifiCorp’s load, at 43 percent.

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