Carbon-Free PSE

Carbon-Free PSE


PSE’s 2019 20-Year Plan
Every two years, each of Washington’s for-profit utilities must file a 20-year energy plan with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. That “Integrated Resource Plan,” or IRP, outlines how the utility will bring energy to its customers.

The largest utility in our state is Puget Sound Energy and 60% of their electricity comes from fossil fuels. We need to change that. PSE must come up with a blueprint for decarbonizing their electrical system in this planning cycle.

Planning process
PSE exposes its planning work for the 2019 IRP in a series of 7 monthly Technical Advisory Group meetings. They’re open to the public but comment is limited.

The first technical meeting on “Electric Resource Costs” was spent reviewing the set of generic power resources assembled for PSE by a consultant.

The second TAG meeting will be an all-day session focusing on carbon prices, gas prices, power prices, portfolio sensitivities and gas resource alternatives.

Technical Advisory Group Meeting #2
Last year, the Utilities Commission told PSE to get its act together and use the federal Social Cost of Carbon to model climate costs. When you inflate the 2007 cost of carbon to 2017 dollars it sounds like a lot — $78 a ton — but many impacts aren’t included, like ocean acidification or the loss of biodiversity, because it’s too hard to assign them a price. So even the “high impact” cost estimate is too low. What price will PSE adopt?

PSE is also a fracked gas company, with an enormous emissions footprint thanks to upstream methane leakage. The cost of methane should be calculated separately since its impact is more immediate and severe. Will PSE own up to their methane footprint?

Pricing Carbon, Gas and Electricity
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2018
Time: 9:00am to 5:30pm
Highlight: Carbon pricing, 9:30 to 11:30am
Location: Meydenbauer Convention Center, 11100 NE 6th St, Bellevue 98004

Click here to download the Presentation slide deck.

Shareable event page (we’ll update it with web meeting info).

Submit written comments to Michele Kvam.

Follow @PSEreporter on Twitter for day-of coverage of the #2019TAG meetings.

The complete agenda of TAG meetings is available here.

Executive listening session
PSE has promised to make their policy managers available to the public for an “executive listening session” this fall. Click here to request that the event be held in Tacoma.

Don’t believe the hype
PSE’s long-range planning consistently falls short of the climate goals upon which our survival depends. Their for-profit business model is based on getting state approval for big capital projects and earning a guaranteed rate of return on their investment, not, as their expert greenwashing would have us believe, providing renewable energy.

Your participation is needed to ensure that PSE plans for a future we can live in.