PHOENIX — Arizona’s largest electric utility said Wednesday that it plans to switch to 100% carbon-neutral power generation by 2050, a sharp turnaround from a company that spent tens of millions of dollars two years ago to fight a ballot measure requiring it to use renewable sources.
The move by Arizona Public Service is the latest in a string of targets set by states or utilities in the U.S. West to go carbon neutral as climate change pushes the region away from traditional sources like coal. Domestic coal-fired power generation has declined 40% over the past decade, contributing to a steep decline in coal mining and several bankruptcies.
APS Chairman and CEO Jeff Guldner said the plan is different than the defeated ballot measure known as Proposition 127, which would have required utilities to get half their power from renewable sources by 2030. The new plan comes close to that but can be changed if needed.