White River Solar Project

Earlier this month, Meeker-based White River Electric Association opened a new solar farm. WREA Members will have opportunities to lease blocks of power from the Piceance Creek Solar Farm beginning in May 2019.

The lease program will be similar to the solar leasing program at the Meeker Solar Garden which is adjacent to Meeker High School.

This is the electric co-op’s third local renewable project. The 4 megawatt project is the largest of its kind in western Colorado.

Spanish Peaks Solar Project Announced by Tri-State

Over the last 10 years, Tri-State Generation and Transmission has added more than 475 megawatts of utility scale wind, solar and other renewable energy projects to its portfolio. This diverse generation mix will continue to increase with a new solar project.

The 100-megawatt Spanish Peaks Solar Project is the fourth utility-scale solar project from the Westminster-based G&T, which supplies power to 18 of Colorado’s 22 electric co-ops. Tri-State partnered with juwi and will purchase the entire output of the project over the 15 years of the power purchase contract.

The solar site will sit on 660 acres approximately 20 miles north of Trinidad in southern Colorado. With 300,000 photovoltaic solar panels that will follow the sun throughout the day, the solar project has the potential to serve the electricity needs of 28,000 rural homes.

Construction of Spanish Peaks is anticipated to begin in 2022 with completion in 2023.

San Luis Valley REC Installs EV Charging Station

Monte Vista-based San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative recently installed an EV charger in its parking lot. The charger is a dual-port PowerCharge and the electric co-op will offer a six-month trial period for people in the area to stop by and try it out.

The Level 2 charger was installed in response to research and a survey that SLVREC consumer-members participated in. Many survey respondents showed support of the charger and of EVs in general. This charger is one of several charging locations in the San Luis Valley, according to PlugShare.com. SLVREC hopes this will spark EV interest among the electric co-op’s consumer-members.

San Isabel Electric Awards $12,000 Rebate

In an effort to make its facilities energy efficient, brighter and lower-maintenance, the Las Animas County Fairgrounds in southern Colorado switched out its outdated incandescent lighting fixtures for Energy Star-qualified LEDs.

Not only did this change make a noticeable impact on the quality of lighting at the fairground facilities, it also earned the county a rebate of more than $12,000 through San Isabel Electric Association’s commercial lighting rebate program.

The commercial rebate program helps organizations in the co-op’s service territory upgrade lighting systems to LEDs. The use of LEDs reduces electricity bills and the bulbs last 15 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. This saves organizations money and time by reducing replacement and electric usage costs, and by not having to keep up with replacing bulbs in outdated lighting systems.

The Las Animas County Fairgrounds now features nearly 150 LED fixtures and nearly 570 linear feet of LED bulbs. They also installed timers, automatic daylight shutoff and motion sensors to save even more energy and money.

Holy Cross Energy Expands Renewable Energy

In January 2019, western Colorado’s Holy Cross Energy entered into a power purchase agreement with Guzman Energy, enabling the development of a new 100-megawatt wind farm.

Projected to connect with the grid in 2021, the wind-generated electricity will serve Holy Cross consumer-members across its service territory. It will also support Holy Cross’s clean energy goals. The co-op outlined its Seventy70Thirty plan early in 2019, calling for 70 percent clean energy by 2030. Currently its renewable electricity portfolio is at 39 percent.

Holy Cross says this partnership will reduce dependence on coal and adds renewables to the grid without increasing costs to consumer-members.