FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Zack Waterman, Director of the Sierra Club Idaho Chapter, firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 515.6719
Idaho Power commits to 100% carbon free electricity by 2045
Boise, ID- Today Idaho Power Company announced a commitment to provide 100% carbon free electricity to customers by 2045. This makes Idaho Power the first major Pacific Northwest utility to commit to move away from fossil fuels, following MidAmerican in 2016 and Colorado-based Xcel Energy last December.
Zack Waterman, Director of the Idaho Chapter of the Sierra Club, issued the following statement:
“This is a game changer for the clean energy transition and great news for Idaho. Kudos to Idaho Power for looking seriously towards the future and what’s best for our state. Moving away from fossil fuels is not only necessary to protect our climate and quality of life, but it’s also an enormous economic opportunity for the Gem State. Rather than continue to send billions of our energy dollars to out-of-state coal plants and fracked gas wells each year, this plan can tap into Idaho’s tremendous clean energy resources, grow our local economy, and provide clean electricity to markets that are increasingly demanding it.
Many major corporations, institutions, cities, and states, across the West are demanding clean energy, because it’s cheaper than fossil fuels and isn’t at risk of fluctuating fuel prices like coal or fracked gas. Idaho Power’s plans to decarbonize will help grow our state’s economy by attracting the high tech jobs of tomorrow and putting our energy dollars to work at home. We look forward to working with Idaho Power to implement this plan in a way that maximizes the benefits that clean energy brings to customers and Idaho’s economy.”
Idaho Power’s commitment comes as customer demand for 100% clean energy in Idaho continues to grow. The Boise City Council will consider adopting a goal of 100% citywide renewable electricity at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 2.”
Idaho Power currently gets 25 percent of its electricity mix from fossil fuels like coal and fracked gas. In recent years the company has began to prepare for an earlier exit from their coal investments, including the North Valmy plant in Nevada and Jim Bridger plant in Wyoming. Idaho Power recently filed a plan with state regulators to exit Valmy Unit 1 this year and Valmy Unit 2 by 2025 rather than running the units into the 2030s, calculating that replacing coal with cleaner options would save customers $12.2 million.
Idaho Power is currently producing an updated Integrated Resource Plan that will guide decisions about where to get electricity in the coming years. In a recent presentation, the company indicated that they are modeling a shutdown of Jim Bridger Unit 1 by 2022 and Unit 2 by 2026, compared to previous plans to run these units through 2028 and 2032. Pacificorp, which co-owns the plant with Idaho Power, recently found that retiring both units by 2022 and replacing it with cleaner options like wind and solar would save their customers $166 million. For the first time the Company is seriously looking a building out utility-scale solar and storage in every portfolio in their IRP.
Idaho has huge potential for clean energy development, ranking 11th in the nation in utility-scale solar potential according to a 2012 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.