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Conservationists say new SRP energy plan should focus on renewables

Salt River Project recently outlined its goals for energy production and sustainability goals through 2035, but conservation groups criticized the utility for its lack of commitment to renewable energy.

SRP characterized the plan as a roadmap for future energy goals, and said it factored in things like affordability and reliability in a market where power use could increase by more than 25% by 2030.

But conservationists say one reason the utility struggles to produce cheap power is that it relies on expensive fuels such as coal and gas.

Alex Routhier, of the nonprofit Western Resource Advocates, said that SRP should focus more on solar.

"It’s cheap, it’s clean, it’s reliable, and it’s something that we’d like to see more of from SRP," Routhier said.

He said that his organization tracks the progress of other utilities in the West, and most are on track to meet their sustainability goals.

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Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.