Coalition efforts help put less coal, more efficiency in PacifiCorp's plan

For the past several years, NW Energy Coalition policy staff have participated actively in PacifiCorp’s resource planning process. Our twin goals: increasing the multi-state utility’s development of energy efficiency resources and reducing its reliance on outdated, climate-polluting coal plants.

Our efforts and those of our clean energy allies are paying off. PacifiCorp’s latest integrated resource plan (IRP) calls for meeting 86% of the next 10 years’ new power demand with energy efficiency and other demand-side management measures. It sees no need to build new fossil-fueled power plants until 2028.

A July 20 Utility Dive article details the great improvements in PacifiCorp’s outlook compared to its 2013 IRP. The new plan boosts the previous plan’s lackluster energy efficiency goals by nearly 60%, largely reflecting the Coalition’s engagement in PacifiCorp’s process and work that elicited strong energy efficiency directives to the company from the Idaho, Washington and Oregon utility commissions.

In addition, the Coalition, along with other clean energy advocates, pushed PacifiCorp to dramatically improve its coal fleet investments analysis, leading to the company’s decision to seek approval for ending coal-burning operations at its Cholla 4 unit in Arizona. The company’s new IRP now models compliance scenarios for EPA’s Clean Power Plan — 111(d) — including Coalition-requested scenarios that go beyond 111(d) to incorporate additional state or national carbon price regulations.

We will keep pushing PacifiCorp to make responsible resource decisions that acknowledge the full costs of environmental upgrades at its coal facilities. Incorporating those looming costs should lead to more coal plant closures or conversions to cleaner fuels.

For more information on PacifiCorp’s improved IRP, contact NW Energy Coalition policy director Wendy Gerlitz at we***@nw******.org.