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SRP increases carbon reduction, water conservation, electric vehicle targets

The board of the Salt River Project has increased the company's carbon emissions reduction target to 62% by 2035 and established new sustainability goals on water conservation, forest health and the promotion of electric vehicle adoption, the Salt River Project said in a June 3 news release.

While a number of the sustainability goals the Salt River Project, or SRP, established in 2017 for the year 2035 remain unchanged, the company engaged with local stakeholders and has now ratcheted up some targets and established a few new ones.

"One of the overarching themes that emerged ... was that SRP should play even more of a leadership role around sustainability in the community," SRP said in a summary report.

Regarding SRP's carbon footprint, the company increased its goal of curbing those emissions to 62% per MWh from 2005 levels instead of by 33% per MWh. SRP also aims to cut 90% of its carbon emissions by the fiscal year 2050. And the company split up its 30% carbon reduction goal for its combined fleet and facilities and replaced it with a 30% goal for each segment based on actual tons of CO2 emitted.

As for water conservation goals in its footprint of central Arizona, SRP now aims to eliminate or offset power generation groundwater use in the Active Management Areas of Prescott, Phoenix, Pinal, Tucson and Santa Cruz, which are places that heavily rely on mined groundwater supplies. The state aims to eliminate groundwater withdrawals in those areas by 2025. And in partnership with Valley cities, SRP will support municipal water conservation goal achievements by creating and executing programs to identify 5 billion gallons of potential water conservation by 2035.

SRP will also increase its leadership role through partnerships, influence, education and support for industry to thin 50,000 acres of trees per year for a total of 500,000 acres. Furthermore, the company will increase the use of sustainability criteria to be used in nearly all decisions on how to spend money on goods and services, although the company is excluding generation fuel from that process.

Finally, SRP will support the enablement of 500,000 electric vehicles in SRP’s service territory and provide programs and price plans to manage up to 90% of EV charging.