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Just Transition from Coal to Renewable Energy

Strategies to phase out coal with solar power

Responsible Renewable Energy (RRE) is a theoretical integrated energy company that specializes in supporting the world’s responsible transition to renewable energy generation. Your manager at RRE has asked your team to create a new product offering aimed at communities with departing
conventional fuel facilities. The product should be designed to maximize RRE’s positive community impact while replacing any lost generation renewably. For your initial product design, please pick a coal plant retiring in the US before 2030 and develop your comprehensive product offering for that community (Town and County).

The product plan should include your plan to replace generation, as
well as your novel technical solution on how to maximize community impact using the incoming footprint.

As a company focused on the responsible renewable energy transition, it is important to ensure your solution does not disproportionately benefit those with the means to buy in (wealthy stakeholders). RRE is also looking to avoid short-term solutions, as the company is pursuing a lasting
environmental and economic impact. Nothing that increases greenhouse gas emissions on prior installations should be recommended. Lastly, it is important to mention how land use varies by electricity type, for example solar uses between 5-10 acres of land per MW and wind requires even
more while only utilizing a fraction of the area for actual infrastructure. Think creatively about how the ample land can be used together with renewables to be a part of your solution.

Project Presentation

As a team of five students from Johns Hopkins SAIS, we developed a “just transition” approach to replace a 567 MW coal plant in Nevada with utility-scale solar power.

Out business plan advanced to the final round where we presented to senior AES executives with financial metrics on the cost inputs, revenue streams, and ROI of the solar plant as well as strategies for land use, re-training workers, and addressing energy poverty issues in nearby tribal communities.

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