The 2018 Renewable Energy Report shows that Columbia exceeded the target for creating renewable energy and increased by 9 percent from last year. Columbia voters passed an ordinance in 2004 mandating that Columbia Water & Light provide electricity from increasing amounts of renewable energy. Last year, Columbia's renewable electric supply came from wind (12.34 percent), landfill gas (3.24 percent) and solar (0.12 percent). The total amount supplied in 2017 was 15.70 percent which exceeds the requirement of 5 percent by 10.7 percent. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Minigrid Microgrid Zero Emission 2018-2038.
Some of the 2017 highlights:
- The implementation of a new wind energy contract became effective January 1, 2017. The new contract provided 8.30 percent of the energy to the Columbia system.
- There was a 91 percent increase in the rated capacity of customer installed photovoltaic systems from 2016 to 2017.
- The last generator for the existing building at the Columbia landfill has been funded and is expected to be installed in late 2018. A contract for a 10 megawatt utility-grade solar installation has been negotiated and production from the facility is targeted for spring 2019. The solar installation should produce 23,000 megawatt hours in its first year of operation.
As outlined in the renewable energy ordinance, the cost of using renewable energy cannot cause electric rates to increase more than 3 percent. For calendar year 2017, the additional cost for the renewable portfolio was $2.59 million and the limit was $3.69 million. The extra money spent on renewable energy was 70.3 percent of what was allowed, according to the ordinance.
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Source: City of Columbia
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