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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine: The proposed settlement of the Puget Sound Energy rate case lays the groundwork for cleaner energy in King County

Summary

Executive Constantine says a proposed settlement of the Puget Sound Energy rate case will accelerate to transition to clean renewable energy in King County.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine says the proposed settlement of the Puget Sound Energy rate case lays the groundwork for cleaner energy supplies in King County.

“I have made real progress in increasing King County production and use of clean, renewable energy. This settlement takes us even further. Through the rate case process, we advocated for closing coal plants faster, treating our county rate payers fairly, and assisting the local community around Colstrip. This agreement meets these priorities and I thank PSE, the Utilities and Transportation Commission staff, the Sierra Club, and other parties for their work to reach this agreement. King County has been working with local cities to increase energy efficiency and accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy by 2025. We are sending a strong signal to the nation and the world that we take climate pollution seriously, and working together, we can make a meaningful difference."

More than one-third of Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) current electricity supply comes from coal. PSE has already committed to close the two oldest units of Colstrip coal plant in Montana by 2022. This rate settlement assumes that the remaining two power generating units have a useful life through 2027, and requires regular updates on timelines for retirement and cleanup of Colstrip. The proposed settlement also sets aside funding to help the local community around Colstrip with economic transition.

Working with King County-Cities Climate Collaboration partners in 2014, King County set shared goals to increase countywide renewable electricity use to 90 percent by 2030, phase out coal-fired sources by 2025, and limit new construction natural gas powered electricity plants. These goals have guided our collaboration and advocacy with PSE and the state Utilities and Transportation Commission.

The county’s 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan builds on this goal, and sets ambitious targets for use and production of renewable energy in county operations and across King County. King County and city partners have advocated for accelerated phase out of all coal fired electricity, replacement with renewable energy sources and energy efficiency strategies, and for a just transition and support for coal plant workers.

King County and cities have also sought new renewable purchase options for municipal customers, and PSE responded with a new a new wind power option for local governments and other large customers known as Green Direct. King County signed up as the largest municipal customer of this program, which is directly supporting construction of a new wind farm in southwest Washington State.

Once construction is complete in 2019, King County will purchase wind from the project to meet 98 percent of government electricity use in PSE service territory. This will cut the County’s direct greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.  The county will continue to advocate for clean, renewable electricity for all the residents of King County.


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Quotes

I have made real progress in increasing King County production and use of clean, renewable energy. This settlement takes us even further. Through the rate case process, we advocated for closing coal plants faster, treating our county rate payers fairly, and assisting the local community around Colstrip. This agreement meets these priorities and I thank PSE, the Utilities and Transportation Commission staff, the Sierra Club, and other parties for their work to reach this agreement. King County has been working with local cities to increase energy efficiency and accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy by 2025. We are sending a strong signal to the nation and the world that we take climate pollution seriously, and working together, we can make a meaningful difference.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

For more information, contact:

Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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