Pitkin County Solar Farm Approved

The Pitkin County Board of Commissioners approved the development of a new solar farm. The site, developed by Holy Cross Energy, will be built near the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on land owned by the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District. The land was used as a biosolid disposal site until 2005. The sanitation district sees the solar farm as a useful way for the land to be repurposed.

Debated thoroughly by community members and stakeholders, the solar farm will meet the requests of 69% of Holy Cross Energy consumer-members who want renewable energy from a community-based project. The site will be close to existing Holy Cross infrastructure, which will help the electric co-op minimize digging to install extra underground cables to support and energize the solar farm.

Innovations Summit Looks to Future

Stakeholders from all parts of the electric industry in Colorado were among the approximately 375 people attending the CREA Energy Innovations Summit October 28 in downtown Denver.

A lively discussion of what is needed for Colorado’s electric industry, particularly the electric co-ops, to transition to more renewables opened the event. Former Gov. Bill Ritter, now with the Center for the New Energy Economy, and Duane Highley, new CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, talked about the innovations on the horizon that both of their organizations are pursuing.

The day-long conference also included controversial luncheon speaker Michael Shellenberger, a pro-nuclear energy environmentalist named by Time magazine as a “hero of the environment.”

Other topics discussed in breakouts during the day included breakout sessions on community choice aggregation, micro grids, new technologies and beneficial electrification. There was also an update on energy storage before the day wrapped up with an update of regional electricity markets for Colorado.

Venders also shared their products and services and helped cover the conference’s costs.

To hear the opening discussion and several other sessions, click here. To review slides presented during panel discussions, click here.

Heat Pumps Pay Off For Granby Resort

Mountain Parks Electric presented a $29,700 rebate check to River Run RV Resort. The Granby resort installed low-temperature, all-electric, air-source heat pumps for heating and air-conditioning in its 44 rental cottages.

The heat pump in each unit is more efficient and has lower heating costs than electric baseboard heat. This innovative solution will help the resort save money over time, and the rebate from Mountain Parks Electric was well-received.

Colorado Remains in 14th Place on the ACEEE Scorecard

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Colorado 14th in the nation on its 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. This annual report measures states’ progress on a variety of energy efficiency efforts including utility policies, transportation policies, building energy efficiency policies, combined heat and power, and state government initiatives.

Colorado electric cooperatives contribute to this ranking by supporting innovative energy efficiency projects and initiatives on many levels from providing programs for cooperative consumer-members to working with the state legislature. Colorado is among a handful of states that recently renewed, extended or strengthened energy efficiency targets for utilities and statewide programs to lay the groundwork for future savings.