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Holladay Journal

Holladay joins clean energy goal

Jul 01, 2022 08:47AM ● By Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Holladay, along with multiple other cities, joined the Community Renewable Energy Agency before the May 31 deadline that aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

Eighteen cities joined the effort to launch a default renewable electricity option for Rocky Mountain Power customers in their communities.

The agency formed after the legislature passed HB 411, called the Utah Community Renewable Energy Act, in 2019 to create a pathway for communities served by Rocky Mountain Power to generate a renewable electricity program.

How to design the program is currently being negotiated between the agency and Rocky Mountain Power. RMP is potentially looking to match 100% of participating customers’ annual electricity consumption with renewable generation supplied to customers’ grid, no later than 2030.

“Holladay is fortunate to be involved in crafting this new program that will increase the amount of renewable energy used by our state,” said City of Holladay City Council Member Drew Quinn in a press release.

Quinn was appointed to serve as the primary Holladay representative on the Community Renewable Energy Agency Board.

“Now more than ever, the conservation of our natural resources and diversification of power supplies and fuels is critical in preserving our high quality of life in a responsible way for generations to come,” Quinn said.

The deadline to participate for cities was originally given until the end of 2020 to opt in to the agreement. It was then extended to May 31 this year.

Other nearby participating cities include Cottonwood Heights, Millcreek and Salt Lake City. Other cities voted not to participate, such as West Valley City, who opted to follow their own plan to achieve net-zero emissions tailored to their own city. City officials didn’t have enough confidence in the agency’s plan to include it in their own plan.

The agency hired local law firm James Dodge Russell & Stephens as outside counsel last October, conducting regular negotiations with RMP. In coming months, further negotiations will take place with state regulators to estimate how much it will cost for customers to participate in the new net-100% renewable electricity program.

The press release stated the agency is staffed by elected officials and staff from participating communities, aimed to be a cooperative effort.

According to the press release several communities conducted surveys of their residents with positive responses toward renewable energy.

Salt Lake City residents showed 88% of residents are supportive of an option to source all of their electricity from renewable energy sources that do not produce air pollution.

The agency hopes RMP will file an application with the Utah Public Service Commission later this year. Should that application be approved, interested communities will each need to adopt ordinances to finalize their participation. The new renewable electricity program could launch as soon as 2023 or 2024.

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