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Black Hills Energy proposes plan to drastically reduce greenhouse gases

Published on January 12, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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Black Hills Energy will file a Clean Energy Plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that details its plan to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

Black Hills Energy, which provides electric and natural gas service to nearly 290,000 customers in Colorado, expects to achieve a 70 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2024 and 80 percent by 2030.

“We’re committed to Colorado’s clean energy vision for our state’s electric sector and we’re proud to have one of the cleanest generation fleets in the state today,” Vance Crocker, Black Hills Energy vice president for Colorado Utilities, said. “We’ve already made great progress toward the state’s goals, and the Clean Energy Plan we’ll file next year will help us to continue moving forward.”

Black Hills Energy closed its last coal plant last year. Since then, it has added three wind farms in Huerfano County, which deliver 150 MW of generating capacity. Later this year, the company expects that construction will begin on Renewable Advantage, a 200MW utility-scale solar project in Pueblo County. Renewable Advantage is expected to deliver more than $66 million in savings for Black Hills Energy customers over 15 years.

“Colorado is well on our way to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2040 and will continue to win lower rates along with the health and environmental benefits of green energy,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said. “I’m proud of the work the state has championed thus far and appreciate the private sector and climate advocates working together to meet the bold goals and demands of this generational challenge. The state’s transition to low-cost renewable energy also creates many clean energy jobs in Southern Colorado and across the state.”

When Renewable Advantage comes online in 2023, more than half of Colorado’s Black Hills Energy generation mix will come from renewable sources.

“We are a customer-focused utility and we know our customers want more renewables, especially when they help to reduce costs,” Crocker said. “Increasing the amount of renewable energy on our system to reduce emissions while also delivering customer savings is a win/win. Our Clean Energy plan will take a balanced approach to achieving emissions reduction goals while also prioritizing reliability, safety, and affordability for our customers.”