PacifiCorp Plans Significant New Clean Energy Investments


PacifiCorp recently released a long-term energy plan that looks to new investments in renewable energy resources, upgrades to the company’s existing wind fleet, and energy efficiency measures to meet future customer energy needs. The $3.5 billion expansion plan, set to be in place by 2020, also incorporates building a segment of the Gateway West transmission line to facilitate the wind expansion.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which was filed with utility regulators across PacifiCorp’s six-state service territory, is used as a road map to help the company provide reliable electric service to customers at the lowest cost. The 2017 IRP includes the investments set for the end of 2020, but also looks 20 years down the road:

  • Upgrading more than 900 MW of existing wind plants with larger blades and newer technology to generate more energy in a wider range of wind conditions by 2020.
  • Beginning construction on a segment of the Gateway West 500-kilovolt transmission line between Medicine Bow, Wyoming, and the Jim Bridger power plant in the southwestern part of the state. The 140-mile line, set to be in service by the end of 2020, would enable additional wind generation and improve the operational efficiency of the broader system by relieving transmission congestion in Wyoming.
  • Building 1,100 MW of new wind projects, primarily in Wyoming, by the end of 2020.
  • Adding another 859 MW of new wind capacity — 85 MW in
  • Wyoming and 774 MW in Idaho — between 2028 and 2036.
  • Building 1,040 MW of new solar capacity between 2028 and 2036.

The plan incorporates the company’s environmental compliance obligations for its coal-fired plants.

By moving to complete the wind upgrades and developments by 2020, the company will be able to use federal production tax credits.

Energy efficiency continues to play a key role in the company’s long-term resource plans. The 2017 IRP anticipates energy efficiency will offset 88 percent of forecasted growth in energy usage over the next 10 years and continue to limit the need for new power plants. 

Source: PacifiCorp

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