Renewable Energy

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HEAL Utah has a number of campaigns aimed at cleaning up our state’s fossil fuel heavy energy mix: our True Blue Sky campaign highlights Rocky Mountain Power’s dependence on dirty coal power, the eUtah Project studied renewable resources statewide and identified how Utah could be power by 100% renewables, and our Community Energy Choice campaign is a multi-year effort to make clean energy accessible to all Utahns.

Much of the rest of America is already well on its way to embracing renewables and energy efficiency. No fantasy there, just the reality of the 21st Century that Utah – and our elected officials – need to wake up and start acknowledging.

Along with growth in natural gas, the gap left by coal’s decline has been met by a sharp rise in renewables. More than 37 percent of new U.S. electricity in 2013 came from renewable energy sources, according to federal data. Our other neighbors are also proving that moving away from carbon polluting energy sources is possible. Let’s look at federal data from earlier this year on where our power comes from in the Mountain West. In Idaho, 23 percent of the electricity generated comes from renewables. In Colorado, 19 percent. Wyoming, 11 percent. Utah? 3.8 percent. A sad reality in a state blessed with bountiful wind, solar and geothermal resources.

Investing in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies will help clean our air, help our families stay healthy, and limit the toll of climate change. In addition, it can propel Utah into the ever-growing clean energy economy that our neighbors are taking advantage of.

Utah’s leaders must stop fighting the tide of shifting energy policies and put Utah on a path to embrace them. States across America are already moving away from coal power, and their electricity remains reliable and affordable. Utah’s leaders must stop fighting the tide of shifting energy policies and put Utah on a path to embrace them. States across America are already moving away from coal power, and their electricity remains reliable and affordable.

Here in Utah, where we are blessed with abundant land and wind and solar resources, the sad truth is that our utility is even more dependent on polluting fossil fuels than the typical American one.

Despite a logo featuring wind towers, the awards their Blue Sky Program receives, and the many ways they repeatedly tout their alleged commitment to renewable energy, Rocky Mountain Power simply does not sell much renewably generated electricity to Utahns. It’s a company that is good at seeming green – without being so. Check out our True Blue Sky page for more!

According to the company’s own data in its planning documents filed with the state of Utah, the mix of electricity that Rocky Mountain Power sells its customers today is 65 percent coal, 10 percent natural gas, 7 percent hydro, 8 percent market purchases (nearly all natural gas power it buys during peak demand times) and a grand total of around 10 percent renewables, nearly all of that wind.
Another way to crunch our electricity mix is even more unfavorable to Rocky Mountain Power. If you look at power made here in Utah – which includes not just our main utility’s facilities, but some others’ as well – Utah has the worst record in the West. Just 3.8 percent of the power made in Utah comes from wind, solar and geothermal, according to federal data. That’s way behind Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Mexico. In the states that border Utah, 11 to 23 percent of the generated electricity comes from renewables.
HEAL is working hard to convince Utah’s elected officials and our dominant utility to embrace renewables. However, we need your help to be successful. Click here to sign up for action alerts and get involved!

Recent Posts about Renewable Energy…

NEWS: Critics say Utah power company's plan violates EPA ruling

Published by Herald & Review
From Al Hartmann via the Salt Lake Tribune and Associated Press
April 8, 2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah power company has come under fire by critics who say its latest 20-year strategic plan contains elements that would violate federal law.

Rocky Mountain Power's 300-page Integrated Resource Plan was submitted to the Utah Public Service Commission on Tuesday, The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/2oNNzwe ) reported. The utility's "preferred" scenario would not involve installing specific pollution-control systems at two coal-fired power plants even though a 2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision requires the systems to be installed by 2021.

Rocky Mountain Power, which is the state's largest electrical utility and Utah have sued to challenge the EPA ruling. Federal legislation introduced last month by Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee, both Utah Republicans, also seeks to overturn the ruling.

Critics argue that the EPA decision should be part of the company's long-term plans unless it is successfully overturned by the legislation or the legal challenge.

"It's baffling Rocky Mountain Power is acting in its future plans as if it can defy federal law, which requires it to reduce Utah's coal power-plant emissions," said Matt Pacenza in a statement. Pacenza is the executive director of the environmental advocacy group HEAL Utah.

... to read the full article, please click here...

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NEWS: Utah energy provider plans major wind turbine expansion

KUTV
By: Associated Press
April 5, 2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's largest electricity provider has announced plans to build a wind turbine in Wyoming that would power more Utah homes by 2021.

Rocky Mountain Power officials said Tuesday that they want to build a $3.5 billion wind generation and transmission project in southwestern Wyoming over the next few years. They say the proposed 1,100 megawatt facility will bring the utility's total generation capacity up by 10 percent.

The company also plans on building more than 1,000 megawatts of commercial solar generation, 77 percent of which will be built in Utah. The plan is expected to keep electricity prices low for customers in the long run.

HEAL Utah Executive Director Matt Pacenza say the company's plan states it intends to keep burning coal power plants in Utah until 2036 or longer despite federal law requiring it to reduce emissions.

... to read the full article, please click here...

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NEWS: Rocky Mountain Power plans major wind turbine expansion

Salt Lake Tribune
By: Emma Penrod
Published 4/4/2017

 

Wyoming wind will be powering more Utah homes by 2021, Rocky Mountain Power announced Tuesday.

The state's largest provider of electricity said it plans to build a $3.5 billion wind generation and transmission project in southwestern Wyoming over the next three years. The 1,100 megawatt facility will increase the utility's total generation capacity by 10 percent, company officials said.

Construction of the roughly 440 wind turbines will be accompanied by a 140-mile transmission line to be built between the Jim Bridger power plant in southwestern Wyoming and Medicine Bow, Wyoming, connecting the turbine array to the company's greater electrical network.

Rocky Mountain Power company spokesman David Eskelsen said that although the company will not immediately need the additional wind capacity, it has chosen to build the project now to take advantage of federal tax credits that only apply to wind projects built before 2020.

... to read the full article, please click here...

 

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