Little Rock-based utility Entergy Arkansas and the federal government announced Tuesday (Nov. 15) reaching a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that’s expected to be a model for similar agreements between utilities and governmental agencies across the nation as they work to meet President Joe Biden’s executive order to use 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030.
According to a news release from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), this is the federal government’s first initiative with a utility to work toward the carbon pollution-free electricity goal. On Tuesday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the first initiative with a utility at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
In December, Biden issued an executive order for the federal government to achieve 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030, including 50% 24/7 carbon pollution-free electricity. The MOU noted that Entergy Arkansas has a goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% from 2000 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The release shows Entergy Arkansas is one of the top 10 suppliers of electricity to the federal government. Under the MOU, the utility will allow its public and private sector customers to use regionally-sourced nuclear and renewables, including solar, hydro or wind.
According to the release, the new program is one of the world’s first electricity utility tariffs that support the 24/7 hourly matching of carbon pollution-free electricity with consumers’ electricity needs. Once the program is developed, Entergy Arkansas customers in “the public and private sectors will have a cost-competitive and reliable option” for carbon pollution-free electricity. The MOU shows the program plan is expected to be developed by the end of 2022 and includes an implementation schedule.
“This MOU marks a historic step forward and demonstrates how the federal government is partnering in initiatives to spur demand for carbon pollution-free electricity – when and where people need it,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “GSA looks forward to working with our agency partners and utilities across the country to replicate this MOU model – helping to promote local, clean energy sources and catalyze utility-scale energy storage and create a more resilient grid.”
Carnahan signed the MOU on Oct. 21, while Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, signed it on Nov. 10.
The GSA is an agency in the federal government’s executive branch that provides procurement for the government, offering billions of dollars in products, services and facilities that federal agencies need to serve the public. Entergy Arkansas, a utility of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., serves about 728,000 customers in 63 counties.