The 2019 Renewable Energy Report is now available in draft form and details how the City of Columbia has achieved its renewable energy commitment for 2018. Columbia voters passed an ordinance in 2004 mandating that City of Columbia Water & Light provide electricity from increasing amounts of renewable energy. Last year, Columbia's renewable electric supply was comprised of wind (12.33 percent), landfill gas (3.10 percent) and solar (0.22 percent). The total amount of renewable electric energy supplied in 2018 was 15.65 percent, which exceeds the requirement of 15 percent, by 0.65 percent.
The report is available on the City's website, CoMo.gov, and can be found by searching "Renewable Energy." The report will be reviewed by the Water & Light Advisory Board, as well as the Environment and Energy Commission, then sent to the City Council for approval. A date for a public hearing has not yet been established.
Several factors determined how much renewable electric energy was supplied in 2018:
- The City of Columbia made a short term purchase of 25,000 megawatt hours of Renewable Energy Credits (REC) from a wind farm in North Dakota.
- There was a 27.3 percent increase in the rated capacity of customer installed photovoltaic systems from 2017 to 2018.
- On Dec. 8, 2018, a fire, caused by a leak in the lubrication system of Landfill Gas Generator 3, caused substantial damage to that unit. The temporary loss of Generator 3 may lead to decreased energy production from Columbia’s landfill.
- The City of Columbia is moving forward with a project to bring 10 megawatts of solar energy into its distribution system. In February 2018 the City entered into a purchase power agreement with Truman Solar, LLC for the purchase of energy generated from a 10 megawatt solar array attached to the City’s 13.8 kilovolt distribution system. The City is in the process of extending two feeders from its Rebel Hill substation to be able to receive this energy. The commercial operation date is Dec. 31, 2019. The City may see some energy from this new resource in 2019, but expects that the full impacts of this new resource will not be realized until 2020.
As outlined in the renewable energy ordinance, the cost of using renewable energy cannot cause electric rates to increase more than 3 percent. For the 2018 calendar year, the additional cost for the renewable portfolio was $2.42 million and the limit was $3.94 million. The extra money spent on renewable energy was 61.37 percent of what was allowed, according to the ordinance.
Read the full report: