Environews, Minis

Sierra Club: Coal power is costing consumers

By Amy Brunvand

Sticking with coal-fired power generation is going to cost Utah consumers a lot of extra money according to a new report from the Sierra Club.

An analysis of PacifiCorp, the parent corporation of Rocky Mountain Power, compares the cost of continuing to operate existing coal-fired plants versus replacing them with renewable energy. Currently, PacifiCorp owns 24 coal-fired power plants. As they age, the cost of operation goes up.

The out-of-state energy market is drying up. The City of Los Angeles plans to stop purchasing coal-fired power from Utah once its current agreement expires in nine years. The State of Oregon is also phasing out coal power. That means Utah, Wyoming and Idaho will have to pay the entire cost to keep old coal plants running.

Meanwhile, the cost of renewable energy is coming down to the point where replacing coal with wind and solar would offer significant savings in the long run. The transition to 100% clean energy will require cooperation from Rocky Mountain Power (PacifiCorp) which currently generates about 62% of power using coal.

PacifiCorp Coal Unit Valuation Study (2018) bit.ly/2Kuzpac.

Ready for 100% Clean Energy: 2017 Case Study Report (2017) bit.ly/2LnBjgV

This article was originally published on August 9, 2018.