Alliant plans to eliminate coal, cut emissions 80% by 2050

Dive Brief:

  • Alliant Energy on Thursday issued its Corporate Sustainability Report, revealing a plan to eliminate coal use and cut emissions 80% by 2050.
  • The company will spend more than $2 billion on new renewable energy, and will double its number of wind sites from six to a dozen. Renewables will make up more than 30% of its energy mix by 2030.
  • The utility said the plan will set a more aggressive course than what the United States originally pledged in the United Nations Paris climate accord, which called for reducing carbon 32% percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The utility’s plan targets a 40% reduction by 2030.

Dive Insight:

Alliant joins a handful of utilities announcing plans to eliminate coal use and increase investment in renewables. In June, Consumers Energy announced it would file a long-term plan that calls for nixing coal use by 2040 and more than tripling renewable energy utilization over the course of the next 10 years. In January, PPL Corp. said it expects most of its Kentucky coal fleet to be retired by 2050 and Duke Energy has included coal-less scenarios in its long-term planning.

New construction and purchase agreements will allow Alliant to grow its wind portfolio to more than 2,700 MW by 2021. Earlier this year Alliant received approval for 500 MW of wind in Iowa, which means about a third of its capacity in that state will be wind power by 2020.

The plan calls for over $2.3 billion in planned capital expenditures over the next five years, with a focus on grid infrastructure. And the utility will close all coal ash ponds by the end of 2023.

Alliant also “accomplish[ed] gender parity on the Board of Directors with 50 percent of members being women,” it said in a statement. Women make up 22% of the utility workforce compared to 47% nationwide in other industries.

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