The six-state utility’s long-range plan embraces cheap PV and batteries, along with existing wind power.
For the first time, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain utility PacifiCorp is planning to rely on massive amounts of solar PV and batteries, as well as wind power, for a large share of its long-term energy needs. The company also wants to shut down economically struggling coal plants years earlier than scheduled.
These are the highlights of PacifiCorp’s draft integrated resource plan filed on Thursday, laying out its investment targets through 2038. As we’ve been covering for months now, PacifiCorp’s IRP has become a major focus of clean energy advocates and climate change activists, given its potential to accelerate the Berkshire Hathaway-owned utility’s move away from fossil fuels and toward carbon-free alternatives.
The draft IRP would close five coal plants in Wyoming by 2028, instead of keeping most of them open through 2037 or later. This move is likely to face opposition from the coal-friendly state’s political leadership, including a newly passed law that would force PacifiCorp to find a buyer for its money-losing plants before shutting them down.