Dear OUC Customer:
For nearly a century, OUC has been a forward-thinking utility. Constantly planning for our clean energy future, we announced in February 2020 our strategic goal to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050, with interim targets of 50% reduction by 2030 and 75% by 2040 from 2005 levels. Our Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP), a stakeholder-driven “energy roadmap” with a 30-year outlook, will provide the direction for achieving these goals, and OUC management has released its recommendation on this plan.
As part of the EIRP, OUC management has recommended that the OUC Board significantly reduce our use of coal no later than 2025 and eliminate it no later than 2027. If approved, the Stanton Energy Center’s two coal-fired plants would be converted to natural gas as a bridge technology while OUC makes the transition to solar as our main source of clean energy. We plan to retire the gas units by 2040.
This recommendation represents the greatest transformational challenge in OUC’s nearly 100-year history, but I am confident that we can meet it and, in parallel, reach our strategic goal of Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050, as well as interim targets. We believe this is the right thing to do for our customers, employees and community.
Specifically, OUC will:
- End coal-fired generation. The plan calls for significantly reducing coal-fired generation no later than 2025 and eliminating it no later than 2027, using coal-to-natural gas conversion as a technology bridge. Both converted units will ultimately be retired no later than 2040.
- Accelerate solar and energy storage as primary strategies. To allow for the acceleration of these resources and overcome the challenges of cloud cover and partly sunny days, energy storage technologies will be used to maintain reliability. OUC will continue to monitor cost and performance developments for new and existing clean technologies, such as hydrogen and small modular reactors.
- Leverage future clean technologies to ensure diversity for reliability. The recommendation provides a roadmap to diversify the utility’s generation by incorporating technologies, such as wind-by-wire generation, to greatly reduce dependency on solar and storage.
- Strive to maintain competitive rates for customers while achieving strategic goals. Advancements of this magnitude require significant investments. However, the recommendation delivers the best value.
For more details on our recommendation and the public workshop on this topic, please click here.
OUC General Manager & CEO