Colorado co-op could save big by buying more renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Denver Post:Tri-State, a Westminster-based electric power cooperative whose members have pushed for more use of renewable energy sources, could save more than $600 million through 2030 if it did just that, a new report says.Declining costs of wind and solar power give Tri-State Generation and Transmission an opportunity to cut costs for its members and blunt the expense of reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to the study released Thursday by the Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent think tank and research organization that focuses on ways to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.Tri-State, which supplies electricity to associations in New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming, gets about half of its power from coal-fired plants. The Rocky Mountain Institute’s report says only one of the five coal-fired plants used by Tri-State and studied by the institute is more economical than the current costs of wind and solar power.Tri-State’s production costs are generally higher than bids for wind — $11 to $18 per megawatt hour — and comparable to solar bids — $23 to $27 per megawatt hour, according to the report. Mark Dyson, a principal at the institute and a co-author of “A Low-Cost Energy Future for Western Cooperatives.”, said the figures factor in transmission expenses.“Even if they don’t shut down coal plants, they can still save money by not running coal-fired facilities as much and just buying renewables in this region,” Dyson said.The Durango-based La Plata Electric Association is one of Tri-State’s members that wants to see less coal and more renewable energy in the mix. “What we’re seeing at La Plata is that the prices of renewables are declining. We want to see more of a renewable mix in the energy supply,” said Mike Dreyspring, the association’s CEO. “It’s as much about the economics as anything.”More: Tri-State could save $600 million by boosting renewable energy use, report says Colorado co-op could save big by buying more renewableslast_img

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