Sacramento Utility Aims For 2.9 GW Clean Power By 2040

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Gets Approval For 2.9 GW Utility Scale Renewable Energy Plan Under IRP, Comprising 1.5 GW Of Solar Power Capacity To Be Achieved By 2040
04:57 AM (Beijing Time) - 24. January 2020
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The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is en route to have 1.5 GW of utility scale solar power capacity by the year 2040 under its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). It aims to reach a net zero carbon status, five years ahead of California's state mandate. (Photo Credit: SMUD/Twitter)

Key Takeaways

  • Sacramento utility SMUD has secured approval for its IRP from the state energy commission that sets it net zero GHG emissions goal to be achieved by 2040
  • Under the IRP, SMUD plans to have around 2.9 GW of new carbon-free resources including 1.5 GW of utility scale solar, of which 300 MW will be built over the next three years
  • Other renewable sources
  • The utility will also aim to install 600 MW of rooftop solar, 200 MW of demand response program and over 200 MW of customer installed batteries

The California Energy Commission has green lighted the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) under which the municipal utility aims to report net zero GHG emissions by 2040 and 1.5 GW of utility scale solar along with 600 MW of installed rooftop solar power capacity. Overall, the plan includes close to 2.9 GW of new carbon-free resources.

This 2040 deadline to fully offset its carbon emissions is five years ahead of the state mandate (see California Confirms 100% Clean Energy Target). SMUD’s current power mix is over 50% carbon free, it claims. A 1 GW combined cycle natural gas facility called Consumnes Power Plant is its ‘biggest single source’ of power supply presently, as per information on the company website.

Among other measures such as energy efficiency, electrification of cars and buildings, development of additional zero-emission generation resources and energy storage, renewables form the base of SMUD’s IRP. Apart from 1.5 GW large scale solar of which close to 300 MW is to be built in the next three years, by 2040 it will aim for 670 MW of wind, 180 MW of geothermal and 560 MW of utility scale energy storage capacity.

SMUD says an aggressive strategy to expand demand-side resources includes plans to install around 600 MW of rooftop solar, nearly 200 MW of demand response programs and over 200 MW of customer-installed batteries.

In the IRP, SMUD said it has 169 MW of local utility-scale solar capacity in its system. 

The not-for-profit utility expects implementation of this plan to require an investment of $7 billion to prioritize local investments to eventually achieve ‘significant’ decarbonization for SMUD and the region. “These goals are ambitious but are necessary to provide the Sacramento region with clean energy, improved air quality, and continued affordable rates that benefit our entire community,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard.

The SMUD IRP as approved by the state commission can be viewed on the utility’s website.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani