As 2018 comes to a close, I want to take time to reflect on some of the important successes our Clean Energy Program had during the year. 2018 brought new partnerships, an important midterm election, and some big reductions in carbon emissions from the region’s power sector. These successes are a testament to our team’s policy expertise and deep knowledge of the power industry, and our unique partnerships and broad base of supporters, which allow us to develop and implement innovative ideas to advance clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and combat climate change.
Shaping the Colorado Energy Plan
WRA was instrumental in the creation and adoption of the Colorado Energy Plan (CEP), which will cut carbon emissions in Colorado by 4.5 million tons per year and reduce Xcel Energy-Colorado’s emissions by 60% by 2026. The CEP retires and replaces two coal-powered plants with clean, renewable energy. The CEP will also invest $2.5 billion in renewable energy and battery storage in Colorado communities. This plan helped lay the groundwork for the company’s December 4th announcement that it intends to generate 100% of its electricity from carbon-free resources by 2050 and is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Tons of CO2/Year
Passing a New Renewable Portfolio Standard
WRA helped craft Nevada’s ballot Question 6 which will, if passed again in 2020, implement a Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring the percentage of renewables on NV Energy’s system to 50% by 2030. Voters approved this goal in November by a 59-to-41% margin, reinforcing that Nevadans are committed to a clean energy future.
Renewables by 2030
Securing an Electric Vehicle Incentive Program
Our work before the Nevada Public Utilities Commission also helped secure approval of NV Energy’s first-year plan for a new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration incentive program. This program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by expanding and accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles throughout the state and will provide $15 million in incentives for vehicle charging infrastructure programs.
Approving the 550 MW Sagamore Wind Farm
In New Mexico, WRA helped secure necessary regulatory approvals for the 550 MW Sagamore wind farm. This project will avoid over 2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, and over the next 30 years it will save New Mexico electricity consumers $2.8 billion.
Tons of CO2
Unprecedented Resource Planning Win
Beginning in the fall of 2017, WRA worked with our partners to develop analyses that showed a portfolio of clean energy resources could meet the electricity demands of Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power at lower cost and less risk than fossil fuels. In March 2018, the analyses helped persuade the Arizona Corporation Commission to take the unprecedented step of both imposing a 9-month moratorium on new natural gas development by utilities and urging these utilities to invest in a clean, modern, efficient electric grid.
Utah | Wyoming
Delivering Wind Energy to Six Western States
Utility customers in 6 Western states — Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and California — will get a significant influx of wind energy out of Wyoming starting in 2020. WRA helped win approval from the Utah Public Service Commission for PacifiCorp’s acquisition of 1,150 megawatts of new wind generation, avoiding 2.4 million tons of carbon emissions each year. The new wind energy will displace generation from older, costlier coal plants and save customers money. Each year, the new facilities will produce over 4 million megawatt hours of zero-cost, carbon-free wind energy — which is enough to power 374,000 homes. This decision not only benefits PacifiCorp customers, but substantially expands Wyoming wind power to serve the West and will provide valuable construction jobs for the next several years.
Tons of CO2/Year