eLab Accelerator 2020

100% Renewable Energy for Utah Communities

Photograph of high power electricity grid taken at dawn

Project Description

This team consisted of three cities and counties in Utah, regulators representing the Division of Public Utilities and Office of Consumer Services, and Rocky Mountain Power. They are all partners in the Community Renewable Energy Program involving 23 Utah cities and counties—a first-of-its kind partnership that allows entire communities to procure net 100 percent renewable energy sourced directly from the incumbent utility by 2030. A critical next step for the program is proposing new rate designs for customers opting into the program.

What The Team Achieved By Participating in Accelerator

These stakeholders came to Accelerator to collaboratively explore key features of the Community Renewable Energy Program and generate possible solutions that participating communities and cities could pursue. The team worked to:

- Identify, categorize, and prioritize potential costs and benefits of the program

- Determine criteria that could be used to evaluate the success of the program

- Explore rate design options and components that could be used to build a rate for the program

At Accelerator, the team defined and tested rate design options that can fairly account for new, incremental, renewable energy resources and identified priority conversations needed for the program’s success.

Over the next year, the team members head into a regulatory proceeding that is required for formal approval of the Community Renewable Energy Program. The take-aways from their Accelerator discussions generated a common understanding of many program elements and will make upcoming conversations about the structure and components of the program rate design more productive. Team members also see a clear need to continue collaborative dialogues in the coming months and to bring in additional stakeholder perspectives that are important to the program’s success.

Team Members

- Kate Bowman, Utah Clean Energy, Renewable Energy Program Manager

- Hunter Holman, Utah Clean Energy, Attorney

- Michele Beck, Office of Consumer Services, Director

- Joni Zenger, Division of Public Utilities, Technical Consultant

- Lisa Yoder, Summit County, Sustainability Director

- Luke Cartin, Park City, Environmental Sustainability Manager

- Christopher Thomas, Salt Lake City, Senior Energy & Climate Program Manager

- Lucky Morse, Rocky Mountain Power, Director of Customer and Community Management