Silicon Valley Power, City of Santa Clara Say No to Coal Power; Power Imports from Coal-Burning Plant End Dec. 31, 2017
City of Santa Clara Municipal Electric Utility Silicon Valley Power
Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric
utility, will become a coal-free utility on December 31, 2017 when it
ends electricity imports from a New Mexico coal-fired power plant. SVP
will replace the power from the San
Juan Generating Station with cleaner energy from renewable and
natural gas resources for its 53,000 Santa Clara customers. The Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission issued its final approval of the move
on December 30.
SVP currently distributes about 36 percent of its power from
state-mandated renewable resources, far exceeding California renewable
energy requirements. Overall, more than 50 percent of the power
supplied by SVP is carbon-free.
Since 2011, SVP has examined options to extract it from coal-powered
resources that 32 years ago were reliable sources of affordable
electricity to supplement seasonal hydroelectric generation and reduce
the need to purchase expensive short-term power. SVP and two other
Northern California municipal utilities formed the M-S-R Public Power
Agency in 1980 and purchased the interest in the San Juan Generating
Station in 1983.
While the San Juan power provided just 10 percent of SVP’s
electricity, the coal-fired power accounted for 50 percent of the
utility’s carbon emissions. Confidential negotiations by SVP began four
years ago to pull Santa Clara out of the San Juan contract due to the
pollution emissions, liabilities associated with upgrading the plant to
reduce emissions, and escalating costs associated with the San Juan
In 2012 SVP began receiving electricity from its share of the Lodi
Energy Center, a natural gas generation plant using modern
technology that limits carbon emissions.
“Silicon Valley Power has been committed to eliminating coal as a source
of electricity for our customers and turned toward a combination of new
renewable resources and the ultramodern Lodi Energy Center to replace
the 51 megawatts of power from San Juan,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager
of Customer Services.
“We will be coal-free two years earlier than the 2020 deadline called
for in the City of Santa Clara’s Climate
Action Plan, effectively reducing the carbon footprint of our power
by over 50 percent,” Owens said.
SVP expects to remain well ahead of state or federally mandated renewable
requirements for the foreseeable future while keeping electricity
rates among the lowest in the state.
About Silicon Valley Power
Valley Power is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit
electric municipal utility of Santa
Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP
provides power to more than 53,000 customers, including Applied
Materials, Intel, Owens Corning, Yahoo! and NVIDIA, at rates 16 to 43
percent below neighboring communities.
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Copyright Business Wire 2016
Source: Business Wire
(January 5, 2016 - 11:00 AM EST)
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