Platte River Power Authority calls for 100 percent non-carbon energy mix by 2030

Published on December 11, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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The board of directors of Colorado’s Platte River Power Authority recently approved a resource diversification policy that calls for a 100 percent non-carbon energy mix by 2030, provided key enabling advancements are achieved.

“Our leadership made a bold statement concerning our long-term mission and energy leadership in the northern Colorado region,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO for Platte River, which provides wholesale electricity generation and transmission to Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colo.

The policy directs Platte River management to pursue the goal of obtaining a 100 percent non-carbon resource mix by 2030 while providing reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable electricity and services.

The resolution notes several advancements that must be achieved to meet the non-carbon goal.

According to the resolution, Platte River must become an active participant in an organized regional market so that it can enhance its energy trading activities. Energy storage technologies and performance must also mature. Additionally, investment and integration of the region’s transmission and distribution systems must increase to enable more advanced grid management technologies and the use of more diverse energy resources.

“The board’s action today formalized the path we have been on for some time,” Frisbie said. “Approximately 32 percent of the energy we deliver to our owner communities comes from non-carbon resources and, by 2020, about 50 percent of our energy will come from non-carbon resources.”

Earlier this year, Platte River signed a power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy for the output of a 150-megawatt (MW) wind farm to be built in Southern Wyoming. Platte River will also install an additional 20 MW of solar energy capacity at its Rawhide Energy Station located near Wellington, Colorado. These investments will help Platte River achieve 50 percent zero-carbon energy.

Longer term planning to achieve the 100 percent target is taking place within Platte River’s integrated resource planning (IRP) process. The final draft of the IRP is expected in 2020.