Idaho regulators accept Rocky Mountain Power's planned shift from coal to renewables
- Idaho regulators have "accepted" the long-term plan submitted by Rocky Mountain Power. It is the first hurdle for the utility, signaling a complete application, but it's unclear how the utility's proposal will move forward. The utility wants to shift towards renewable energy, and plans to retire 3.5 GW of coal generation.
- Over the next 18 years, the utility would also turn to efficiency measures, two new natural gas facilities and wholesale power purchases to meet demand.
- Within the plan's scope, the PacificCorp utility's preferred portfolio includes 1,313 MW of new natural-gas capacity — a significant reduction from its 2015 IRP, which called for 1,540 MW of gas capacity
RMP's long-term plan to shift toward more renewable energy highlights the efforts its parent company, PacifiCorp, is making toward investing in this resource. This proposal is similar to one PacifiCorp has submitted via its subsidiaries in Oregon.
Key aspects of the proposal include:
- Within the first 10 years the plan includes Energy Vision 2020 projects, which call for 1.1 GW of new wind resources and more than 900 MW of upgrades and repowered wind, along with construction of a transmission line in Wyoming;
- After 2020, Rocky Mountain Power is proposing 859 MW of new wind generation, including the addition of 774 MW in Idaho in 2036.
- The proposal also includes 1,040 MW of new solar resources to come online between 2028 and 2036, with the majority installed in Utah beginning in 2031.
- The first new natural gas-fired resource is expected to be added in 2029, a year later than the 2015 proposal.
Demand-side management resources, including efficiency and conservation, "play a key role in helping the company meet customers’ demand for electricity," said the PUC.
Under the plan, incremental energy-efficiency resources would provide a 2,077 MW reduction--sufficient to meet 88% of forecasted load growth through 2026.
Last year, the Idaho PUC approved new integration rates Rocky Mountain Power, significantly lowering the rate charged to integrate wind energy into the utility's system. Regulators approved a wind integration rate of $0.57/MWh, and set the solar integration rate at $0.60/MWh.
- Idaho Public Utilities Commission Commission accepts Rocky Mountain Power long-range planning document
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