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Summit County Council Will Still Pursue Renewable Energy Plan

The Summit County Council on June 3rd discussed their Community Renewable Energy plan.    Despite some unexpected changes in the financing,  the consensus from Council Members was to stay with the plan.

The county has joined up with Park City, Grand County and several other local governments in a plan to receive a net 100 percent  of their electricity from renewable sources, in league with Rocky Mountain Power.

A renewable energy firm was selected, under the Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA.    But Council Member Glenn Wright told KPCW Thursday that firm was sold, meaning the plan is a little more expensive than they anticipated.       

“The company that bought the rights to this PPA from the original developer, and the original developer is going to finance this over 15 years, and the new one can only get 20- or 25-year financing.  And what that does is it changes what the avoidable cost is in years 15 to 25.   A lot of that is a low average estimate on what those avoidable costs will be.  And my crystal ball is a lot cloudier than Rocky Mountain Power’s right now.  But that would have resulted in a significant rate increase in those Out years.  So instead what the proposal is, is to kinda roll those rate increases into the entire range of the contract.”

Council Members were concerned that the length of the agreement changed from 15 years up to 20 or 25 years.    Ultimately, Wright said, they decided on  20 years.       

“The cost to the public is gonna be pretty minimal.  Our major electricity user in the county is Mountain Regional Water.   They have estimated to us that the cost to an average customer would be $5 a year.  The cost to an average resident of Summit County for the county’s portion of that comes in about 15 or 20 cents a year.   So it’s really a fairly minimal increment for an enormous decrease in our carbon footprint, on the order of 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.”

Summit County Council Member Glenn Wright.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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