Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which can be replenished at the same rate as it is used.
Over the years Redding Electric Utility (REU) has been very aggressive in diversifying its energy resource portfolio for economic and reliability reasons, and more recently for environmental, renewable, and carbon reduction objectives. Resource diversity does not just happen; it requires extensive transmission and generation facilities dedicated to Redding.
Redding Electric Utility (REU) is committed to providing our customers with the lowest-cost, most reliable power available, while at the same time we are also concerned about the environment and want to leave future generations with a cleaner, healthier environment!
REU's hydroelectric resources are provided through a long term contract with the Federal Government to purchase a significant portion of Redding's energy needs from power generated by the Central Valley Project. Redding also has a small hydro generating plant at the base of Whiskeytown Dam.
As a good steward of the beautiful rivers that run through Redding, REU is actively engaged in the Central Valley Project to enhance and protect the Sacramento River and its restoration of tributaries. When including renewable large hydroelectric power from these resources, REU's resource mix contains over 61% carbon-free energy.
In 2006, REU signed a 25-year contract through the M-S-R Public Power Agency to purchase energy from the Big Horn wind project located in eastern Washington State. The wind energy is firmed and shaped in the Pacific NW before being delivered to Redding, which takes care of the intermittency of the wind and efficiently utilizes the high voltage transmission grid.
In order to jump start solar power in Redding, REU provides solar rebates and has invested in solar demonstartion projects on new buildings throughout the Redding community. Yet, given the high cost of solar panels, the installed systems only represent less than 1% of REU's resources.