Renewable energy such as wind, hydroelectric efficiency upgrades, biomass, and solar produce significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than coal, oil, and natural gas energy sources. The state’s Energy Independence Act (EIA) requires the 17 largest utilities to increase their electric load served by renewable energy from 3% in 2012 to 9% by 2016 and 15% by 2020.
In the 2016 calendar year, utilities reported 9.7% of their electric load served by renewable energy. Utilities are expected to be on track to meet their future goals.
Utilities annually report to Utilities and Transportation Commission and Commerce the amount of “new” renewables acquired to meet electric load. Commerce has authority to provide advisory opinions on eligibility of new renewable resources. A number of state actions have been undertaken to increase new renewable energy production.
- The Energy Independence Act (EIA or I-937) was passed by voters in 2005 and calls for larger state electric utilities (25,000+ customers) to get 15% of their electricity from new renewable resources by 2020 and acquire all cost-effective electricity conservation and efficiency.
- Working with the state’s electric utilities to help them transition off coal-fired electricity sources.
- Continue efforts to help decrease the acquisition cost of new renewable generation through more efficient siting and permitting.
- The state has enacted several tax exemptions to promote the development of wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy.
Check on utility progress towards EIA goals using the following link.
Energy Independence Act conservation goals.