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Wyoming regulators to discuss PacifiCorp coal retirement

Wyoming regulators to discuss PacifiCorp coal retirement


PacifiCorp's Naughton Power Plant is seen in February 2019.

LARAMIE (AP) — Wyoming regulators plan to discuss in September an electric utility’s plan to close several coal-fired power plants in the West in the years ahead following an investigation into the proposal.

Portland-based PacifiCorp also proposes to develop significant solar energy, wind power and battery storage facilities throughout the region.

The retirement of coal-fired power is worrisome to many in Wyoming, the top coal-producing state. The Wyoming Public Service Commission launched its investigation into PacifiCorp’s long-term planning proposal in November.

The investigation, the first of its kind in commission history, seeks to answer two questions, commission Chairwoman Kara Fornstrom said.

“First, is the preferred portfolio economically sound and, second, does the preferred portfolio ensure reliability?” Fornstrom said.

It’s not clear whether the commission has the authority to reject PacifiCorp’s Integrated Resource Plan after its investigation. That question has never been addressed, commission attorney Chris Petrie said.

The commission recently held a week-long hearing on the proposal. Nine entities including a coalition of local governments, a group of industrial energy customers and a state citizen’s group weighed in during the hearing, Wyoming Public Radio reported.

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