PacifiCorp Files Resource Plan; Continues to Move Away from Coal

New in this plan is the conversion of Jim Bridger plant units 1 and 2 to natural gas peaking units by 2024.
PacifiCorp Files Resource Plan; Continues to Move Away from Coal

CASPER — Rocky Mountain Power today filed its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan with state utility commissions. The biennial long-term resource plan maintains Rocky Mountain Power’s strong reliability in delivering power to its customers.

New in this plan is the conversion of Jim Bridger plant units 1 and 2 to natural gas peaking units, storage and transmission investments and non-emitting dispatchable resources including advanced nuclear that can be called upon by the company when needed.

With a plan for new wind generation, transmission and significant new solar and storage resources, Wyoming will see continuing investment from the company. Increased energy efficiency and customer demand-response programs will also help provide reliable service and save customers money. Developed with comprehensive data analysis and active stakeholder input spanning more than a year-and-a-half, the plan anticipates the company’s adoption of additional lower-cost renewable resources to meet customer needs.

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“Customers depend on us to provide safe, reliable, affordable power every day,” said Rick Link, vice president of Resource Planning and Acquisitions. “We share a bold vision with our Wyoming customers and communities where our investments in the state help power our customers in the West and continue to support jobs and innovation. This vision has guided our work for years and this plan shows how we will build on that vision.

“Our Integrated Resource Plan is designed to determine the lowest-cost options for customers,” Link said. “Although economic challenges for coal-fueled power continue, we would note that, other than the conversion of Bridger units 1 and 2, the anticipated coal retirement dates for units located in Wyoming remain unchanged from the 2019 plan. In addition, the plan determined that converting the Jim Bridger plant units 1 and 2 to use natural gas is in the best interest of customers and will directly benefit network reliability while reducing customer costs. These units will be converted to gas operations by 2024 and are anticipated to be available to support peak demand needs until their previously assumed useful life in 2037.”

The 20-year Integrated Resource Plan, renewed every other year, outlines PacifiCorp’s bold vision for the West between now and 2040 and charts a path to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions by investing in more renewable resources. Further, the addition of advanced nuclear resources, pumped hydro energy storage, and over the long-term, the addition of non-emitting peaking resources, will provide cost and reliability benefits to customers. The current plan results in a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to the 2019 plan.

In the preferred portfolio, system CO2-equivalent emissions are down—relative to a 2005 baseline—53 percent in 2025, 74 percent in 2030, 83 percent in 2035, 92 percent in 2040, 94 percent in 2045, and 98 percent in 2050.

The current plan builds on extensive work the company has completed in recent years, including its $3 billion Energy Vision 2020 wind power and transmission projects, and its most recent Request for Proposals—more  than double the size of Energy Vision 2020—that resulted in a final shortlist of 19 proposed wind, solar and battery storage projects and associated transmission that will be added to the company’s portfolio by 2024.