OPPD held its sixth public workshop for its Pathways to Decarbonization initiative on Dec. 9. The project is helping the utility reach its goal of net-zero carbon production by 2050.
For the past 18 months, OPPD has worked with internal and external stakeholders to shape the best pathways toward that goal. The utility called the project its “biggest resource planning effort ever.”
The latest workshop, like the previous ones held throughout 2021, attracted engaged citizens, members of other utilities and civic leaders. OPPD officials said such engagement is just what planners envisioned.
“It’s great to see so many of you taking the time to provide input as we work toward our goal,” said Sarah Lake, Community Engagement coordinator at OPPD. “We’ve received a lot of thoughtful and informed feedback throughout this process.”
Among the key takeaways from the workshops:
OPPD conducted all of its engagement with stakeholders online because of COVID-19 restrictions. Recordings of all workshop presentations can be viewed on OPPD Community Connect.
The workshops did not culminate in a singular final recommendation or decision on how OPPD will achieve the net-zero goal. Rather, the workshops produced a comprehensive study of modeling scenarios to provide directional pathways toward achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Work in this regard continues and OPPD is part of the utility’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Every five years, OPPD submits an IRP to one of its energy partners, the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), as part of a contractual commitment for hydroelectric power.
An IRP is a road map detailing how OPPD will generate power in the future. IRPs evolve over time to reflect the changing environment and energy industry. OPPD’s work toward 600 megawatts of new solar with natural gas backup are components of the IRP.
Outreach for OPPD’s IRP started in mid-January, and the utility has posted a draft plan on the Community Connect site. You can also watch a recording of the virtual presentation of the plan.
Anyone interested in viewing or learning more about the study’s recommendations as they stand now can view the presentation and other Pathways to Decarbonization materials on Community Connect.
The four focus areas currently being studied are:
As OPPD moves forward with its Pathways to Decarbonization plan and its coming IRP, customer engagement will continue.
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