Two electricity utilities are in different places than they were a year or two ago – all because of renewables. Two stories I wrote for pv magazine this week – the first, Another gas plant spurned as renewable energy takes over in California, and the second Rocky Mountain Power’s incremental evolution.

The second story is more interesting than the first in my opinion – but the first is a hard reality of what’s happening all over the nation.

Rocky Mountain Power is based in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. Wyoming is pure coal country, Utah isn’t exactly renewable happy – and Idaho is mostly hydroelectric powered, so really not much political need to push further renewables. Yet, Rocky Mountain has put forth a plant to retire large amounts of coal, install more solar and wind, and sees clearly that efficiency will balance out future electricity demand growth.

Why is this utility acting this way? Because they see the future clearly. And this key word from the Rocky Mountain proposal – ‘incremental’ – was what really caught my attention. Slow and steady change is now without a doubt, and a combination of economics and politics are making that happen.

And its happening in a state that gets almost all of its electricity from coal – through a power company that is more than 65% coal.

Sources above.

About John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.