Puget Sound Energy has announced its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2040. For the past 145 years, PSE has powered communities and businesses throughout Washington.
Now, PSE has developed a measurable plan with short- and long-term steps to achieve this goal while ensuring they can continue to meet their customers’ needs for the next 100-plus years. This plan prioritizes a transition from coal, new product and resource development, and cleaner transportation in Washington.
“We can create a better energy future, which is why we are committing to reducing our carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2040,” said PSE President & CEO Kimberly Harris. “PSE is prepared to pave the way while also empowering our customers with simple and concrete actions they can take in their daily lives to lower their footprint. By working together, we can preserve and protect our environment for generations to come.”
PSE’s carbon-reduction plan includes the following initiatives:
- Transition from coal: With the retirement of Colstrip Units 1 and 2 by July 2022 and the shutdown of Centralia Power Plant in 2025, PSE will be nearly 90 percent clean — meaning non-coal generation — and on the path to 100 percent by the early 2030s.
- New product and resource development: PSE will make strategic investments in new products and renewable resource development, building on the popularity of programs like “Green Direct” that allow large-scale energy customers to subscribe to PSE’s renewable energy projects.
- Cleaner transportation: With 43 percent of carbon emissions in Washington state coming from transportation, PSE is committed to accelerating the growth and adoption of electric vehicles, as well as investing in the development of cleaner alternatives to diesel and other fuels for commercial and industrial uses to ensure buses, ships, ferries and trains can be as green as possible.
Some of these efforts PSE can and will do on its own. Others will require policy changes at the state level to ensure carbon-reduction goals can be met. Since building its first hydroelectric plant at Snoqualmie Falls in 1898, PSE has been a leader in renewable resource development. PSE is currently the third largest utility owner of wind power in the nation and has one of the country’s largest energy efficiency programs. These programs have helped customers conserve nearly 5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity — that’s enough to power the city of Bellevue for three years.
“We’re responsible for powering more than 1.5 million homes and businesses,” said Harris. “PSE is ready to collaborate with our customers, lawmakers, regulators and communities to ensure the lights and heat are on while we collectively take strides to reduce our carbon footprint.”