With the help of Tri-State’s board policies 115 and 117 that offer member incentives, the association’s co-ops are ramping up their renewable portfolios. Tri-State’s members have planned or already built a wide range of local renewable projects that are helping to fulfill both Colorado’s and New Mexico’s renewable portfolio requirements, as well as satisfy their member consumers’ interest in purchasing green power.
As of late August, a total of 10 Tri-State member systems have energized or are planning local renewable projects that qualify for Policy 115 generation contracts with Tri-State. If all goes as planned, the combined total capacity of these 25 projects will reach 38 megawatts by the second quarter of 2013.
Two of the largest member distributed generation projects currently in operation are the Williams Four Corners generating facility located in La Plata Electric’s (Durango, Colo.) service area producing 5.8 megawatts from an industrial waste heat recovery system and Highline Electric’s (Holyoke, Colo.) Trailblazer unit, which cranks out up to 4 megawatts utilizing a similar heat recovery system.
Another two sizeable hydroelectric facilities are currently in the works that will provide generation to Delta-Montrose Electric (Montrose, Colo.) and Poudre Valley REA (Fort Collins, Colo.). “We are projecting that our South Canal Hydro Project will be producing a little more than 6 megawatts of capacity by the second quarter of 2013,” said Jim Heneghan, DMEA’s renewable energy engineer.
The Carter Lake Hydroelectric Project, now under construction by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, will be producing up to 2.6 megawatts of capacity for Poudre Valley by the summer of 2012.
The first ever member-sponsored wind project to gain Tri-State board approval under Policy 115 is also slated for completion by spring 2012. The 9-megawatt Huerfano River Wind Project, which will be owned and operated by New Centennial Power, will sell its output to Tri-State’s members San Isabel Electric (Pueblo West, Colo.) and Sangre De Cristo Electric (Buena Vista, Colo.). The wind site is located in San Isabel’s service territory, 10 miles north of Walsenburg, Colo.