Rocky Mountain Power says Utah has overabundance of alternate energy

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BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune

Is renewable energy development in Utah entering a bubble? The state’s largest utility thinks so.

To avoid getting overcommitted to wind and solar, Rocky Mountain Power is asking regulators to shorten required contract terms with green-energy producers from 20 years to just three. Critics have blasted the idea as “a radical shift in policy” aimed at thwarting competition from renewable sources.

RMP contends the long-term fixed-price contracts required under the 1978 federal statute known as PURPA amount to subsidies to alternative generators that will ultimately be borne by ratepayers.

“The company has no need for resources for the next decade,” Paul Clements, RMP’s director of commercial services, wrote in testimony to the Utah Public Service Commission. “Failure to implement the modification to contract terms proposed by the company in this case may result in significant irreversible harm to customers.”

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