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Gov. Mark Gordon is hailing a proposal by a coal-fired power plant to install carbon capture technology as a potential victory for Wyoming, provided that it proves financially advantageous. The parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, PacifiCorp, recently submitted an update to its energy sourcing plans for the next two decades. As the largest utility in the state, Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal includes plans to install carbon capture technology on units 3 and 4 of the Jim Bridger Power Plant in 2028, located outside of Point of Rocks.

In 2020, state lawmakers mandated that public utilities explore the feasibility of implementing carbon capture technology at their coal plants in an effort to maintain coal-fired power as part of the energy mix. However, consumer advocates are concerned that the costs associated with retrofitting the plant could ultimately be passed on to the company’s 144,000 Wyoming customers. The Wyoming Public Service Commission will be responsible for reviewing PacifiCorp’s proposal to install carbon capture technology at the Jim Bridger Power Plant.

Rocky Mountain Power had initially proposed converting these units to natural gas but now believes that installing carbon capture technology could extend the units’ lives by two years. This proposal could be a significant step towards reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants while maintaining them as part of Wyoming’s energy mix.

The installation of carbon capture technology involves capturing and storing CO2 emissions produced during the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. This process can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change caused by fossil fuel usage. However, this process also comes with costs associated with retrofitting existing power plants and building new infrastructure for storage and transportation of captured CO2 emissions.

Gov. Gordon is optimistic about this proposal and believes it could provide economic benefits for Wyoming by creating jobs and attracting investment in clean energy technologies. He also hopes that this proposal will help maintain coal-fired power as part of Wyoming’s energy mix while reducing emissions from these plants.

Consumer advocates are concerned about the financial impact on Rocky Mountain Power’s customers if this retrofitting process proves costly. They worry that customers may end up paying higher electricity bills or other fees related to this project if they are not adequately compensated for any additional costs associated with retrofitting or operating these new technologies.

The Wyoming Public Service Commission will review PacifiCorp’s proposal to ensure it meets all state regulations regarding environmental protection and public safety concerns before approving it.

Overall, this proposal represents an opportunity for Wyoming to transition towards cleaner energy sources while maintaining its reliance on coal-fired power generation.

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