Tag Archives: Colorado Public Utilities Commission

Colorado to go carbon-free

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine

The great state of Colorado is joining in on the renewable energy party, or at least will be soon, when Governor Jared Polis (D) signs into law SB19-236, The Colorado Public Utilities Commission sunset bill. SB19-236, which has successfully passed in the Senate as its accompanying bill did in the House, directs all utilities in the state to a goal of 80% carbon reduction by 2030, followed by 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2050 . . . SB19-236 includes provisions allowing electric utilities to use low-cost bonds to help refinance retiring fossil fuel generating facilities, a call for distribution system planning and plans to create new workforce and community transition opportunities. Read more here.

Photo: Colorado Energy Office – Matt McClain: United Power’s Brighton Solar Farm in Colorado

Related
Climate bills make it across finish line as Colorado’s legislative session ends, Vail Daily
Senate Bill 236 directs the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which oversees investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy, to consider the cost of carbon pollution when considering future power projects. It also requires the PUC to start evaluating and approving the energy plans of Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which supplies most of the state’s rural electric co-ops (although not Holy Cross Energy, which mostly gets its power from Xcel). That utility is on track to deliver 100-percent carbon-free power by 2050.

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES 

Additional Resource
SEIA Guide to Land Leases for Solar
Guide for Local Landowners
Solar Land Lease: Considerations in Nebraska
Authors:
David Aiken – Extension Water and Agricultural Law Specialist
John Hay – Extension Educator for Bioenergy
Randy Pryor – Extension Educator
YouTube Video
Solar Farm Leases – John Hay

Previously Posted
NextEra looking into potential solar farm in northeast Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star
NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest, Energy News Network

Electric cooperatives in Colorado push for change at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association

By Joe Smyth, Clean Cooperative

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is one of the largest G&Ts in the country, delivering power to 43 electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Like many other G&Ts, most of the power that Tri-State generates comes from coal fired power plants . . . Tri-State’s largest member co-op, United Power, has proposed changes to Tri-State’s bylaws to give co-ops more flexible contract options, so they can purchase power from other providers and pursue more local renewable energy projects. United Power has been discussing its proposal with other Tri-State member co-ops, warning that Tri-State policies are turning away large customers.

United Power built several solar projects, and in 2017 reached the limit on local energy development imposed by Tri-State. So United shifted its strategy to energy storage projects, and installed a 4 megawatt Tesla Powerpack, now the largest battery in Colorado. But Tri-State pushed back, and last year changed its policies to discourage its member co-ops from pursuing energy storage projects. Read the entire article here.

Photo: United Power’s Battery Storage Project. YouTube Video Joe Smyth includes in his article:

Push for renewables vexes Western power supplier

By Keriann Conroy, Perspective, High Country News

Colorado’s largest member-owned generation and transmission provider may be in trouble.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which provides wholesale electricity to rural
cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska, is facing increasing pressure to let go of some of its contracts and to improve its renewable portfolio. But it appears unable to change fast enough to keep up with the times.

Most of Tri-State’s power is generated from coal- and gas-fired plants or large hydroelectric dams, but it is now facing regulatory hassles and the potential exodus of customers. Rural
“distribution” cooperatives are currently waiting to see how much it would cost them to exit their contracts, while Colorado moves toward regulations requiring more renewables.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: Missy Kennedy/Flickr

Keriann Conroy is a graduate student at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado, studying democratic practices and sustainability.

Previously Posted News Stories & RMI Report

Also of Potential Interest

Biggest solar array east of Rockies set for Pueblo

The $200 million, 120 megawatt project will be installed on approximately 900 acres at two sites. Photo by Chris McLean, The Pueblo Chieftain

The $200 million, 120-megawatt project will be installed on approximately 900 acres at two sites. Photo by Chris McLean, The Pueblo Chieftain

By Jeff Tucker, The Pueblo Chieftan & The Greeley Tribune

Excerpt
Joshua Epel, chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, noted that solar power in Colorado, where there’s an abundance of sunshine, is a safe bet and the project represents a commitment to diversity in Colorado’s sources of power. “It’s a hedge against increases in gas prices and it’s a hedge against the volatility of fossil fuels,” he said . . . The project will employ about 370 construction workers on site and, at the low end, generate $600,000 annually in property tax revenues . . . State Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, also noted that SunEdison and Xcel will partner with Pueblo City Schools (D60) to bolster the STEM curriculum at Central High School by allowing students to examine the technology and exposing them to the fields that are applied there, such as electrical engineering.

Read the whole story here.