On October 19th the City Council formally adopted a new Franchise Agreement negotiated by Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s Administration and Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), the City’s electricity provider. After more than a year in conversation, the City and RMP negotiated an unprecedented agreement, which includes a Clean Energy Cooperation Statement reflective of the City’s aggressive clean energy goals.
Upon taking office in January, Mayor Biskupski committed to maintaining Salt Lake City’s momentum on clean power and announced expanded municipal clean energy goals in her first State of the City Address. In July, the Salt Lake City Council and Mayor Biskupski signed a historic Joint Resolution, resolving to generate 100 percent of Salt Lake City’s community-wide electricity needs from renewable sources by 2032, and to reducing overall carbon emissions 80 percent by 2040.
“We need to put strong action behind our pledges to clear our air and address the threat of climate change,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “This agreement is a significant milestone in the city’s relationship with our electricity provider, and illustrates what can be accomplished when we work collaboratively to ensure a healthy, sustainable future for our City.”
The Franchise Agreement and Clean Energy Cooperation Statement herald a new partnership between the City and the utility. The Cooperation Statement specifies that Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain Power intend to work together to evaluate and implement multiple projects and programs to help the City achieve its clean energy targets.
Such collaborations include: Salt Lake City subscribing to at least 3 megawatts (MW) of solar energy through Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar Program; the continuation of and further investment in energy efficiency data collection, benchmarking, and outreach; and the joint development of options for increased renewable energy use by the community at-large. Further investments in electric vehicle infrastructure and technologies are also encouraged.
“Salt Lake City was the first municipality to sign up for Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar program and has been a pioneer in pursuing renewable energy and reducing emissions in the state’s capitol,” said Cindy A. Crane, Rocky Mountain Power President and CEO. “Rocky Mountain Power looks forward to partnering with the city to deliver innovative ways to reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2032.”
The Cooperation Statement establishes a target date of March 31, 2017 for completion and acceptance of an implementation plan to achieve the energy goals listed. Annual update reports will then be published each year starting in 2018. The Franchise Agreement itself is for a five-year term, giving the City the opportunity to review progress and goals on a more regular basis. The previous 25-year Franchise Agreement expired in January.