PacifiCorp outlines status of renewable, CO2 reduction goals

PacifiCorp d/b/a Rocky Mountain Power filed a report on Dec. 31 at the Utah Public Service Commission that said the utility is making progress on its renewable energy goals and reduction of its CO2 emissions.

Rocky Mountain Power submitted its Carbon Reduction Progress Report to the Public Service Commission of Utah on the development and maintenance of a plan for meeting the targets set forth under Utah law. Under Section 604 of the law, the report is required to set forth:

  • The actual and projected amount of qualifying electricity through 2025;
  • The source of the qualifying electricity;
  • An analysis of cost-effectiveness of renewable energy sources;
  • A discussion of conditions impacting the renewable energy source and qualifying electricity markets;
  • Any recommendation for a suggested legislative or program change; and
  • Any other information requested by the commission or considered relevant by the utlity.

As demonstrated in this report, Rocky Mountain Power is positioned to meet its 20 percent target requirement of an estimated 5,150,168 megawatt-hours of renewable energy in 2025 from existing Company-owned and contracted renewable energy resources,” the report said. “Exhibit A of this Report includes the actual and projected amount of qualifying electricity through 2025 and a list of associated renewable energy resources. Conditions impacting the Company’s renewable energy resource and qualifying electricity markets and deployment include applicable laws and the availability of tax incentives, wildlife habitat impacts, changing environmental policies, emerging carbon emissions regulations, the Company’s participation in the Energy Imbalance Market (‘EIM’), transmission and infrastructure costs, and energy policy directives from the Company’s multiple jurisdictions.”

The company performs its long-term resource planning activities through its integrated resource plan (IRP), which is filed with the commission every other year. The latest one is due to be filed in March of this year.

“In quantifying comparative cost and risks among resource portfolio alternatives in the 2013 IRP, the Company reported an analysis showing that new wind resource capacity needed to meet state RPS targets increased levelized resource portfolio costs by between $30 and $60 per megawatt-hour (MWh) of expected energy generation from these resources, depending upon future carbon dioxide policy assumptions,” the report noted. “Consequently, the 2013 IRP and 2013 IRP Update preferred portfolios excluded these renewable energy sources from its plan and the Company identified, and has been implementing, near-term action items to seek lower-cost RPS compliance strategies by acquiring renewable energy credits. As the 2013 IRP Update preferred portfolio illustrates, the Company plans to meet its customers’ needs over the next 10 years largely through energy efficiency resources and front office transaction (‘FOT’) resources. The Company will also actively continue looking for opportunities to acquire cost-effective renewable resources.”

The report added: “For the time period covered in the analysis, the Company reduced the renewable resource generation output by the amount of renewable energy certificates (‘REC’) that were/are forecasted to be monetized. For the historical period through 2013, REC sales allocated to Utah are estimated based on the actual total company REC sales for each given year. In years 2014 through 2016, the analysis includes a forecasted amount of RECs that may be sold, and estimated the Utah allocated amount. Due to the uncertainty of greenhouse gas regulation, the Company currently has not forecasted any REC sales beyond December 31, 2016.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.