On-line and planned member renewable projects provide up to 39 megawatts

By year-end 2011, Tri-State member systems had at least 25 local renewable projects – either on-line or planned – that are projected to provide up to a combined 39 megawatts of renewable generating capacity for their member-consumers. These projects are facilitated and supported by Tri-State’s 115 and 117 board policies, as well as technical assistance, in some cases, from the G&T’s staff.

The Carter Lake Hydroelectric Project now under construction at this reservoir west of Loveland, Colo., is scheduled to begin producing 2.6 megawatts of capacity for Poudre Valley REA by next summer.

In 2011 alone, a small community solar garden was added at Empire Electric (Cortez, Colo.), two community solar arrays began production at Delta-Montrose Electric (Montrose, Colo.), a larger 1-megawatt capacity PV solar facility is generating for Kit Carson Electric (Taos, N.M.), a hydroplant began operation for San Luis Valley REC (Monte Vista, Colo.) and an existing hydroplant’s full capacity was purchased by San Miguel Power (Nucla, Colo.). In addition, the first landfill gas plant on a Tri-State member co-op’s system started generating power last fall for United Power (Brighton, Colo.).

In 2012, several Tri-State members are planning to bring some sizeable renewable projects on line – at one megawatt or larger. These will include the 9-megawatt Huerfano River Wind Project in southern Colorado, which will generate power for Sangre de Cristo Electric (Buena Vista, Colo.) and San Isabel Electric (Pueblo West, Colo.), and the 2.6-megawatt Carter Lake Hydro Project, which is slated to begin producing power this summer for Poudre Valley REA (Fort Collins, Colo.).

Looking at Tri-State’s own renewable portfolio, the G&T recorded the first full year of operation in 2011 for the 51-megawatt Kit Carson Windpower Project in eastern Colorado and the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility in northeastern New Mexico. Both of these generating sites, from which Tri-State holds long-term power purchase agreements, exceeded performance projections during the past year.

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