Friday, January 11, 2019

More utilities switching to renewables to save money

Utilities are realizing that renewables are the way to the future. Coal powered plants (arguably the dirtiest form of electrical generation, spreading mercury and radioactivity around the globe) are now too expensive. Even Pacificorp, my former employer that owned coal mines in Wyoming, is making the switch.

For example, PacifiCorp, a large utility serving customers in six Western states, released a study (PDF) in early December showing that 13 out of its 22 existing coal-fired generating units were more costly to keep running than to replace with new, cleaner resources. Consumers Energy in Michigan filed a plan in June with its regulator to retire all of its coal-fired generators by 2040, replacing them entirely with renewable resources and energy efficiency investments. And the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, in the heart of coal country, announced in November it could save its customers $4 billion by retiring all of its coal plants ahead of schedule and replacing them with wind, solar and batteries.

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