Special session addresses future coal needs in Utah

Jun 20, 2024, 4:07 PM

coal power plant in Delta, utah...

FILE- Power plant near Delta, Utah. (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers tweaked an existing energy law during a special session of the Utah Legislature this week.

The bill, HB3004, will allow the state to take control of a coal power plant in Delta, Utah before it switches to natural gas and hydrogen production next year.

Bill sponsor, Rep. Carl Albrect, R-Richfield, said the change would benefit a growing population.

“They use coal, which would benefit central Utah from an economic standpoint, with employees a the plant, with coal mining and with trucking,” Albrect told lawmakers.

The plant in Delta is currently owned by Intermountain Power Agency. The IPA is defined as a political subdivision of Utah, comprising nearly two dozen municipalities that own electric utilities.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power operates the plant.

HB3004 makes Utah the owner of the Delta power plant, and able to dictate how the plant operates.

The Deseret News reports that IPA planned to transition the power plant to natural gas.  But state leaders want to ensure that coal production can continue.

“Energy costs are skyrocketing right now,” said House Speaker Mike Schultz, “because there is not enough energy on the grid, and it will affect Utah.

“So, we need to do all we can to keep this power plant open.”

Schultz described the Delta coal power plant as one of the cleanest coal power plants in the nation.

“We’re working hard to do all we can to save the energy production here in the state of Utah. We have to do it,” Schultz said.

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Special session addresses future coal needs in Utah