"Big Utility Ditches Coal For Wind Because It's Cheaper"

"One of the West's largest utilities said yesterday it plans to retire about two-thirds of its coal units by 2030 and replace the vast majority of that power with renewable energy.

PacifiCorp, which serves customers in six Western states, said it plans to build 3,000 megawatts of solar by 2025, 3,500 MW of wind and 600 MW of battery storage. The Portland, Ore.-based power company said it would retire 16 of its 24 coal units over the next decade. That includes two units at the Jim Bridger plant in western Wyoming, the largest coal facility in PacifiCorp's fleet and among the biggest in the nation.

The move has significant climate implications. The units scheduled for retirement accounted for almost half of PacifiCorp's carbon dioxide emissions between 2008 and 2018, according to an E&E News review of EPA emissions data.

The plan represents a dramatic turn for a utility that has long generated most of its electricity with coal and has the potential to reshape the Western electric grid. But it faced immediate questions from environmentalists and state officials in Wyoming, a coal-reliant state that is home to the majority of the utility's coal plants."

Benjamin Storrow reports for ClimateWire October 4, 2019.

Source: ClimateWire, 10/07/2019