GRU to hold meeting on electric needs

Gainesville Regional Utilities sign
Suzette Cook

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) will host a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at its administration building to gather community input for the next version of its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). 

The utility held previous meetings in April and June and will hold meetings into next year, with one scheduled for Jan. 10. All of these will inform the latest version of its IRP, last conducted in 2019. The GRU Administrative Building is located at 301 SE 4th Ave. 

The IRP evaluates the city’s projected electrical needs and finds ways to meet those needs. The 2019 IRP factors in Gainesville’s 2045 zero emission goals with the rise of electric vehicles, an increase in customers, aging facilities and more. 

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According to GRU, the 2019 plan resulted in recommendations but the city never charted a final path to deal with energy needs. Questions in the IRP deal with meeting peak electricity demand predicted to rise from around 400 megawatts in 2023 to 450 megawatts in 2044.  

The utility has two gas turbines set to retire in 2026 and a steam turbine scheduled to follow in 2027. GRU’s 74.9-megawatt solar contract with Origis Energy has continued to date, following a recommendation from the 2019 plan.  

By the time the IRP has finished, GRU will likely be presenting it to the new state authority board that will begin handling the utility in October.  

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