The Lincoln County Commission will meet with Rocky Mountain Power September 5 in Salt Lake City as they will discuss the plans the company will present to the Public Service Commission.
This will be an opportunity for members to make comments on the plan before it is formally introduced. Lincoln County Commissioner Robert King says the original plans have changed quite a bit.
“At the beginning it was all about natural resources,” King said. “Wind, solar, not much coal, some natural gas but not much, and now they’ve decided that well they’re going to need all those resources to fill the grid and give us some reliability on power.”
King says unit one and unit two are still operating on coal at the Kemmerer power plant. Unit three occasionally operates on natural gas although it has not been fully converted to gas.
He also says he is hoping to hear of some diversification from Rocky Mountain Power in the upcoming meeting in Salt Lake.
“We’re hoping that they’ll continue to burn one and two on coal,” King said. “And we’re hoping that maybe they can look at number three and fire it back up, but a lot of that depends on the clean air technology.”
He says Rocky Mountain Power understands with wind, it doesn’t always blow. If it is too strong they will shut the windmills down. He also says the battery technology to store solar power is not quite there yet either.
“Until all that gets into play,” King said. “We’re hoping that they’ll look at more diversification.”
King says this does not just affect Naughton, but state wide. He also says Rocky Mountain Power originally planned to present earlier in the year to the Public Service Commission, but their model was not complete.
Last week Kemmerer City Administrator Brian Muir told SVI News he had heard of potential buyers for the power plant. King confirmed hearing of this as well.
“But boy this is early on,” King said. “Of course they’ll have to work out a deal with Rocky Mountain Power to purchase that power or sell that power to Rocky Mountain because they do own the transmission lines. That will be the key issue for anyone buying that particular plant.”
The presentation to the Public Service Commission is scheduled for October 18.