Demand for Electricity in Columbia Rising
Tuesday, the League of Women Voters held a gathering to figure out how to provide future power cheaply. Demand for electricity in Columbia is on the rise.
"Our supply situation is such that over the next four or five years we're gonna start needing additional capacity to meet the requirements of the city," said Dan Dasho, director of Columbia Light and Water.
The League of Women Voters held a forum to discuss options to fill the gap.
"We want to inform the people about the various sources, both conventional and renewable that might be used to meet Columbia's future needs," said Win Colwill of the League of Women Voters.
Those sources could include expanding generating power at Columbia's municipal plant, or buying a share in a plant somewhere else.
Dasho said the easiest solution is for Columbians to just turn off the lights.
"If we can get everybody to reduce their energy usage by 2%, we could lower our demand 5 megawatts, and just on a demand savings look at $600,000 a year in savings," said Dasho.
Another possibility is renewable energy.
"If it is cost competitive to buy more renewables than what is on the ordinance, we will definitely do that," Dasho said.
He said that he expects prices on things like wind power will continue to drop. Columbians voted last year to require some power to come from renewable sources. Dasho said that Columbia already is moving to fill that requirement by generating power using landfill gasses.