Utilities Pledge to Green Up

Published On: July 28, 2020

Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) this week made big pledges to go “green up” their footprints. SCE pledged to electrify its fleet and SMUD pledged 100% green power.

SCE pledged that its car fleet will be all-electric by the end of the decade. They also pledged to convert nearly a third of its pickups and larger vehicles, 8% of heavy-duty trucks, and 60% of forklifts by the same year, 2030. SCE said that they have 6,200 small and large vehicles.

SCE stated that the electrification of its fleet will reduce the company’s annual GHG emissions by nearly 6,000 metric tons: the equivalent of taking 7,600 cars off the road for a year. SCE added that they wanted to set an example for their workforce and that they would be installing 180 EV chargers at 36 facilities for employee use, with 150 new ports going in this year.

SCE also installed 1,800 electric vehicle chargers at 100 other locations across its territory, from workplaces to public parking areas. SCE plans to install up to 50,000 more public EV ports over the next few years, investing $1 billion. SCE also said they have begun construction on a planned 870 chargers for electric buses, delivery trucks and tractor trailers.

The SMUD board voted unanimously to embrace a carbon-neutral power target of 100% in the next 10 years. Previously the utility had aimed for 2040. Under State law, California utilities much reach that mandate by 2045.

SMUD’s advancement of its clean energy goal was approved as part of its climate emergency declaration. SMUD said that they will issue a roadmap for this net zero energy target by March 31 of next year.

To accomplish this goal, SMUD must slash emissions from its five natural gas power plants. The 5,706 GW hours produced by these plants create nearly 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to SMUD staff. Converting the gas plants to a renewable fuel source is “on the table.”

SMUD’s Integrated Resource Plan, which set a 100% net-zero electric carbon goal for 2040 and was approved by the California Energy Commission in January says the following:
This resource plan – now sped up for 2030 – proposes to spend $7 billion on 2,850 MW of large-scale renewables and 1,000 MW of small alternative energy resources. That includes 1,200 MW of utility-scale solar plants, 670 MW of wind, 560 MW of utility-scale storage, and 180 MW of geothermal. It also includes 600 MW of rooftop solar, 200 MW of demand response, and 200 MW of customer battery storage, along with 900,000 electric vehicles and 400,000 fully electric homes.

SMUD serves 1.5 million customers in Sacramento County and parts of Placer County.

About the Author: Jesus Arredondo

Jesus Arredondo is an Energy Industry Analyst and former State of California official. He can be reached at jesus at govreport.org