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Electric mobility seems to be everywhere these days, but does availability equal accessibility? Here at EWEB we’ve determined that the answer is ‘no’ and are working to bridge that gap through EV car shares, community grants and electric bike rebates.Find Out More
In Eugene, we take pride in knowing we have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation. Roughly 90% of Eugene's power comes from carbon-free hydroelectric energy. And EWEB has a long history offering robust conversation programs. But we wanted to do more, so we launched Lead Green, a suite of programs for climate innovators looking to support renewable energy and take action on climate change. In the year since Lead Green was launched, we've accomplished a lot we can be proud of.Find Out More
Learn some of the many ways EWEB customers support local schools and help inspire kids to explore the wonders of watershed health and clean energy resources.Find Out More
Our skilled journeymen are experts in their field, with thousands of training hours and real-world experiences.Find Out More
By upgrading substations – key nodes in the electric grid – EWEB is investing today in a resilient electric grid for the future.Find Out More
Seventh graders in the Bethel School District put their handmade wind turbines to the test in a wind power challenge supported by EWEB grants last week.Find Out More
The application period is now open for the Electric Mobility Community Grants. Mobility Grants of up to $25,000 will be awared to five nonprofits, schools and academic intitutions, government and other public agencies to cover costs associated with their electric mobility projects.Find Out More
EWEB's Greenpower subscribers voted to award this year's Greenpower Grant to Friends of Trees, a local nonprofit that brings trees to areas of Eugene and Springfield with low tree equity.Find Out More
Follow along as the Currin Substation, the first of 10 substations in 10 years, is rebuilt from the ground up as part of EWEB's Capital Improvement Plan for major infrastructure investments to rehabilitate, replace, and install new infrastructure.Find Out More
Today and every day, we celebrate and honor the hard work, innovation and dedication of electrical line workers.Find Out More
It’s spring-- the time of year when birds are nesting in our trees. EWEB crews take special care to avoid disrupting birds when they’re trimming trees. But tree trimming is a necessary part of delivering safe and reliable power. We went out with a crew to find out how it's done.Find Out More
EWEB is excited to announce the eligible candidates for the 2023 Greenpower Grant! The winner of the Greenpower Grant will be voted on by Greenpower subscribers. Learn more about each origanization and their proposal before casting your vote.Find Out More
Crews are identifying and addressing equipment failures before wildfire season and doing so mitigates risk of fire ignition.Find Out More
Carbon is everywhere. But do we really understand what it is and what is being referred to when people mention it? We are taking it back to the basics in this article that breaks down carbon and explains what it is at it's most basic element and why we need to pay attention to it.Find Out More
EWEB customers use more than twice as much water in the hot, dry summer months, compared to the cold, rainy winter months. The higher summer water use can almost assuredly be attributed to customers watering their lawns and gardens.Find Out More
April 20, 2020
Eugene Water & Electric Board is exploring the impacts of widespread electrification on our community. In this study, EWEB will hypothesize various electrification scenarios and assess potential impacts to power supply, demand, local infrastructure, and community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
It is fitting that EWEB announce the study during the 50th anniversary year of Earth Day, as the theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action, a topic that is directly related to electrification.
Electrification is a term for replacing direct fossil fuel use (e.g., natural gas, heating oil, gasoline) with electricity in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Stabilizing Earth's temperature requires greenhouse gas emissions to reach net-zero by 2050.
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrifying end-use technologies presents both potential opportunities and challenges.
"Locally, our customers want to do their part to address the climate crisis, and they are looking to EWEB to enable a transformation to clean, sustainable energy use," said Frank Lawson, EWEB's General Manager. "However, without a thoughtful and intentional approach to electrification, we risk creating a diminished carbon benefit and unintended effects such as declining reliability of the grid, or price increases that make electricity unaffordable, particularly for low-income communities."
The impacts of electrification could be far-reaching, dramatically altering how much, when and where electricity is used. Locally and regionally, significant infrastructure investments will be needed to support changing demand. At the same time, the loss of capacity from coal plant retirements could affect the price and availability of electricity.
Despite these challenges, if done right, there are many opportunities to support our community's climate recovery goals through the smart electrification of transportation, space heating and water heating in both residential and commercial sectors. The study will help EWEB understand and prepare for various electrification futures, including the resources, technology, and infrastructure that will be needed to meet customers' changing energy needs, including fuel and electricity impacts.
The study aims to answer five questions:
The study is part of EWEB's larger and ongoing Electricity Supply Planning (ESP) effort. Electricity Supply Planning includes a broad set of actions, such as evaluating power portfolio options, negotiating power purchase agreements, managing infrastructure, and developing customer products and services, all with the goal continuing to serve our community over the long-term with clean, affordable and reliable power.
EWEB management and Board of Commissioners determined in March 2020 that an electrification study will be the focus of the utility's near-term efforts due to broad interest in electrification from customers and the Board.
"We have heard strong feedback from the Board and community that the most relevant and timely issue for EWEB relative to power resource planning should be electrification, specifically, how much electrification can EWEB handle, what kind, how fast, and what's the net carbon benefit," said Frank Lawson. "These are relevant and pressing questions given that most widely accepted solutions to the climate crisis involve aggressive electrification of energy end uses."
The electrification study will take priority over EWEB's previously scheduled Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) work, a process aimed at helping EWEB make decisions about long-term power generation resources. EWEB provides annual updates to the Board on the status of our existing IRP, with the last update on September 2019 showing that EWEB's portfolio remains adequate for meeting our resource needs for at least the next five years.
"EWEB has no immediate need for new power resources, so it makes sense to postpone the IRP for the time being," said Frank Lawson. "On the other hand, electrification of transportation and buildings can create opportunities and challenges for EWEB."
The electrification study will be completed in phases, with Phase 1 focusing on potential changes to demand and consumption patterns, generation needs, and environmental impacts from electrification of small vehicles, water and space heating. A first draft for Phase 1 review will be made available by mid-summer of this year, with the invitation for Board and public review and guidance. Phase 2 of the study will focus on infrastructure, costs and influence of energy efficiency and demand-side flexibility, and is targeted for completion in early 2021.
Throughout this work, EWEB will take steps to inform, educate and listen to customers.
"As we refocus our short-term efforts from an IRP to an electrification study, our goals for public engagement remain the same," said Frank Lawson. "We want to hear input that helps inform and guide utility decisions, and ensure that customers who choose to engage in the process have opportunities to do so."
We invite customers to sign-up to receive news and updates on EWEB's Electricity Supply Planning work.
With results of the electrification study in-hand, EWEB will be poised to direct our efforts back to Integrated Resource Planning. We expect to take up the next IRP in 2023.
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Mailing Address: 4200 Roosevelt Blvd., Eugene, OR 97402
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