OUC—The Reliable One has been recognized in the Sierra Club’s new Clean Energy report card for OUC’s commitment to reaching 100% Net Zero emissions by 2050, with interim goals in the decades between. OUC is the only utility in the Southeast included in the report to earn a “B” rating, ranking in the top eight of 79 utilities which were surveyed nationally. Only three of the 79 utilities received an “A.”
“We must always balance sustainability with reliability, resiliency and affordability,” said Clint Bullock, OUC’s General Manager & CEO. “We are one of only a small number of utilities that have a plan to get to Net Zero, and this report confirms we are heading in the right direction. It also indicates the transportation sector has moved ahead of the electric generation industry in terms of carbon dioxide output, and we have a plan for addressing that, too.” OUC has committed to investing $45 million to expanding the infrastructure needed to support an additional 40,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on Central Florida roads by the end of the decade.
In December 2020, OUC Commissioners approved a 30-year clean energy roadmap through an Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP). The EIRP calls for converting OUC’s existing two coal generating units to natural gas within the next six years for immediate carbon dioxide reductions. The move accelerates the utility’s clean energy plans years ahead of the planned useful life of the power plants using coal. Additionally, OUC stands committed to extensive investments in solar, energy storage and other renewables as technology improves and evolves.
“I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of our organization for the hard work you did under some of the most challenging circumstances last year. It is not lost on us that Orlando has surged ahead to lead the state in making the vision of 100% renewable energy a reality,” said Sierra Club’s Susannah Randolph at OUC’s January Commission Meeting.
“We are in a very, very elite group at the top of this report and I think we should feel very good about that. We have a long way to go, there’s more we can do,” said Britta Gross, OUC Board president. “I thank the Sierra Club for this and I hope we can continue to work together to be partners as we move forward to address our challenges together.”