The Board of Directors of California public power utility SMUD recently adopted a climate emergency declaration that commits to working toward a goal of delivering carbon neutral electricity by 2030.
“The Board’s adoption of the climate emergency declaration acknowledges the ambitious steps SMUD has already undertaken and will continue to take to reduce the carbon footprint in our region, while continuing to deliver safe, reliable and affordable power,” said SMUD Board President Rob Kerth. “This resolution commits SMUD to finding reductions in the quickest way possible and investing in our most vulnerable communities.”
SMUD noted that it has a long history of environmental leadership, helping to pioneer renewable energy programs and standards.
In 2018, SMUD successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels, the equivalent of removing 377,000 vehicles from the road.
Furthermore, SMUD has reduced the carbon intensity of its power mix, which is now 50 percent carbon free on average. SMUD has also partnered to plant more than 500,000 shade trees throughout the Sacramento region to improve air quality, sequester carbon and reduce customer bills, it noted.
In 2018, then-California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that puts California on a path toward reaching 100% clean energy by 2045.
SMUD also helped grow the local market for solar development by providing $130 million in customer incentives to install solar on over 15,000 local rooftops.
SMUD adopted its most recent integrated resources plan in 2018 that set a roadmap to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, five years ahead of the state.
The plan, approved in January 2020 by the California Energy Commission, focuses on local renewables and includes a $7 billion investment to achieve the following aggressive goals:
Nearly 2,900 megawatts (MW) of new carbon-free resources including:
- 670 MW of wind
- 1,500 MW of utility-scale solar, of which, nearly 300 MW will be built in the next 3 years
- 180 MW of geothermal
- 560 MW of utility-scale energy storage
An aggressive strategy to expand demand-side resources including:
- Nearly 600 MW of installed rooftop solar
- The equivalent of 900,000 local electric vehicles and 400,000 all-electric homes
- Nearly 200 MW of demand response programs
- Over 200 MW of customer-installed batteries
SMUD said the resolution “indicates a strong commitment to finding additional opportunities to accelerate decarbonization, and staff will work to immediately support the goals of the resolution.”