PacifiCorp’s Updated IRP Emphasizes Shift towards Sustainable Energy Production: Carbon Capture and Continuous Power

Governor Gordon Reacts to PacifiCorp’s Proposal for Carbon Capture Technology Implementation at Jim Bridger Power Plant

PacifiCorp has submitted its update to the 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the Wyoming Public Service Commission for review. The IRP outlines the state’s largest utility’s energy sourcing plans for the next two decades, including the installation of carbon capture technology on coal-fired units 3 and 4 at the Jim Bridger Power Plant.

In response to this announcement, Governor Mark Gordon emphasized the shift in energy planning strategies, noting that previous IRPs focused solely on phasing out coal-fired power plants entirely. He expressed concern over this limited approach, which led to the passage of SF159 in 2019, requiring a good faith effort to sell coal units before closure. In 2020, HB200 was enacted, mandating regulated utilities to consider carbon capture technology for coal plants to meet lower CO2 standards under federal regulations and consumer preferences.

Although IRPs are subject to change, the decision to prioritize carbon capture for the Jim Bridger Power Plant Units 3 & 4 reflects the necessity of producing continuous and reliable power. This change in direction is viewed as a positive economic opportunity that benefits Wyoming, its consumers, and those served by PacifiCorp. The integration of carbon capture technology alongside renewable energy sources like wind and solar demonstrates the shift towards more sustainable energy production.

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