Washington state agencies adopt rules for implementation of emissions free electricity law by 2045

Published on January 07, 2021 by Chris Galford

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Responding to last year’s passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), Washington state agencies, including the Department of Commerce and Utilities and Transportation Committee (UTC), passed new administration rules this month that will aid implementation.

CETA requires the state to implement an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Under the new rules passed by these agencies, utilities must eliminate coal-fired electricity by the end of 2025, convert to a carbon-neutral supply of electricity by 2030 and draw all of their electricity from renewable or other non-carbon emitting resources by 2045.

“This rule is one of the key pieces of one our most important policies for building Washington’s clean energy future. Ensuring that all customers and communities can have equal opportunity to participate in the benefits of 100% clean electricity was a top priority in developing the new rules,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said. “We appreciate the collaborative work by advocates, utilities, and agency staff to develop these rules on time and with broad input.”

For the UTC, these new rules will affect Puget Sound Energy, Avista, and Pacific Power. The Commerce side of the rules will apply to 64 electric utilities in the state, from municipal utilities to rural electric cooperatives. The rollout followed 18 months of deliberation between the agencies, stakeholders, environmental and labor advocates, low-income and disadvantaged communities, and electric utilities.

Additional rules may follow as both the UTC and Commerce consider ways to ensure electricity purchased in interstate wholesale markets likewise meets CETA’s clean energy standards.