Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA) announced today that its board of directors established a goal to provide 80% carbon-free energy to its members by 2030. PVREA's carbon free goal is the first by an electric cooperative that is consistent with new state climate legislation signed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis last week, which encourages "the development of clean energy plans that will require greenhouse gas emissions caused by Colorado retail electricity sales to decrease eighty percent by 2030."
“Establishing the ’80 by 30’ goal is our first step toward increased reliance on carbon-free energy sources,” said Jeff Wadsworth, president and chief executive officer of PVREA in a press release. “By setting this ambitious goal, we have the opportunity to proactively address Colorado’s evolving regulatory environment and manage costs associated with potential future regulatory requirements.”
Steve Szabo, one of the PVREA members who has urged the co-op to embrace clean energy, said: “I am elated that the PVREA board, CEO and staff are working toward a carbon free electric generation portfolio. The move forward will benefit our local economy and environment. Thank You PVREA!”
Electric cooperatives have shifted their approach to renewable energy amid declining prices and growing public support, but wholesale power providers are key
Three electric cooperatives in Colorado have now set clean energy goals, reflecting co-ops' growing recognition of the opportunities presented by declining prices for renewable energy and increased public support for wind and solar power development.
The latest announcement came last week from Grand Valley Power, an electric cooperative that delivers electricity to more than 18,000 members mostly in Mesa County, Colorado. Grand Valley Power established a target of 60% clean energy by 2030, which the co-op described as "one of the most aggressive environmental targets of any electric cooperative in the nation."
In a press release, Grand Valley Power noted that the "announcement comes at a time when home- and business-owners are increasingly interested in having renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions." Grand Valley Power CEO Tom Walch said:
“With cost-effective advances in clean renewable energy technology, we’ll be able to meet this 60 percent target by 2030 while maintaining rate stability and our excellent reliability standards. This is one of the best ways we can deliver value to our consumers.”
Holy Cross Energy announced last week that it plans to shift its power supplies away from coal and increase its use of renewable energy to 70% by 2030, without any increase in the costs of it power supply. The Glenwood Springs based electric cooperative says the plan would lead to a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 2014 levels.
Holy Cross Energy CEO Bryan Hannegan highlighted why the co-op could shift to renewable energy without increasing costs: “Thanks to advances in technology and changes in energy markets, we have the opportunity to bring on new renewable energy resources at costs comparable to our existing supply. This will enable us to meet our clean energy goals while maintaining the reliable, affordable and safe service our members have come to expect.”
Other electric utilities in the state have also begun to increase their use of renewable energy, taking advantage of the fact that new wind and solar power in Colorado is now cheaper than existing coal plants, and responding to growing demands for cleaner energy from large electricity consumers including municipal governments and some major companies. But Holy Cross Energy is the first electric cooperative in Colorado to establish an ambitious renewable energy target. Let’s look at how Holy Cross Energy plan to achieve its goals.
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