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Colorado Electric Co-ops add new solar and wind projects

Eighteen Colorado electric co-ops took big steps this year toward more renewable energy sources.

The addition of eight solar and wind projects will add 1 gigawatt of cleaner energy to these co-ops’ power sources.

The changes are part of a larger plan by the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association to add substantial renewable energy sources to its grid by 2024 while maintaining stable rates for customers in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Read more from Colorado Country Life.

Gov. Bill Ritter Tri-State Challenging but attainable

“Challenging but attainable.” That’s how former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association CEO Duane Highley describe Tri-State’s recently announced goals to boost its renewable power resources and reduce its carbon emissions.

Tri-State is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity cooperative that generates and transmits electricity to its member rural electric cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Ritter, a pioneering renewable electricity advocate, heads the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. In a column published in The Denver Post, Ritter and Highley write: “Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan outlines ambitious but actionable commitments and challenging but attainable goals that will make it possible for the cooperative to implement its energy transition while maintaining stable to lower rates for its members.”

By 2024, half the electricity Tri-State’s members use will come from renewable resources. Tri-State will also reduce 90% of the carbon emissions from generation it owns or operates in Colorado by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels), they write in the column.

In April Duane Highley became CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which supplies power to rural electric cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

“There’s no better time to be a member of an electric co-op, and no better place to be than here in the West,” he writes. Highley outlines Tri-State’s development of its Responsible Energy Plan, which will detail how the member-owned not-for-profit organization will become an increasingly clean and flexible power provider.

He notes that already nearly a third of the energy consumed by its members comes from emission-free renewables.

Read more in Highley’s column from Colorado County Life magazine.

 

Rural electric cooperatives power much of the nation – and many local economies, according to the latest data. The electric co-ops:

  • Cover most of the U.S. landmass.
  • Serve 42 million Americans, from rural areas to growing suburbs.
  • Invest $12 billion annually in communities.
  • Provide 71,000 jobs.

Electric co-ops also are reducing emissions even as they have increased the total amount of electricity they generate.
Learn more from this infographic, courtesy of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

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