Tag Archive for 'New Energy Economy'

Clean coal technology advancing

Growing energy demands require a diverse portfolio of energy resources, including energy efficiency and renewable, natural gas, coal and nuclear power.

Coal is an important part of the nation’s energy mix, and clean coal technologies are critical to ensure the continued delivery of the reliable and affordable electricity you depend on and to manage greenhouse gas emissions.

Tri-State is a leader in advancing clean coal technologies.

Tri-State’s Greenhouse Gas Management Roadmap, which is focused on technology development, identifies how the association could manage the risks associated with possible constraints on greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of the Roadmap, a Tri-State-supported pilot project is successfully demonstrating the viability of capturing carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-based power plant utilizing a chilled ammonia process. The study is being conducted through the Electric Power Research Institute at the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant near Prairie, Wis.

About 35 utilities other from the United States, Germany, Australia and France have been helping to fund approximately $7 million toward the cost of the project.

Tri-State is also a partner in a $4.8 million research assessment of geologic formations in western Colorado for their ability to store carbon dioxide underground. With the University of Utah, Colorado Geological Survey, Shell Exploration and Production, Schlumberger Carbon Services and the Utah Geological Survey, the partnership was awarded a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Tri-State, Shell and Schlumberger are providing the remainder of the funding.

A goal of the three-year project is to evaluate the potential of carbon dioxide storage at a site near Craig, Colo., where Tri-State operates the Craig Station coal-based power plant.

“A vital part of our New Energy Economy initiative is finding cleaner ways of producing and consuming traditional fuels,” said Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. “This grant award will enable us to expand our research into the viability of climate protection technologies such as carbon sequestration, which is not only important for northwest Colorado, but also for carbon sequestration potential throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.”

Ken Anderson, Tri-State’s executive vice president added, “This site specific carbon dioxide sequestration assessment complements Tri-State’s ongoing participation in collaborative demonstrations of carbon capture technology in power plants. Together, these research efforts can develop options to manage carbon dioxide at a significant scale.”

Widening the Highway for Colorado’s New Energy Economy

Over the past several years, Colorado’s “New Energy Economy” has been a primary focus for advancing the state both fiscally, as well as environmentally.

As a result, Colorado has become a nationwide hub for renewable energy, advancements in clean energy technology and gains in energy efficiency.

In order to keep this economic engine moving, the “highway” system it depends on needs to keep pace. This “highway” system is the state’s transmission infrastructure.
Without upgrades to the Colorado’s existing transmission infrastructure, as well as the development of new lines to address load constraints and reliability, the journey for Colorado’s “New Energy Economy” could face a number of road blocks.

Tri-State’s Board of Directors recently approved the association’s 2010 capital construction budget which includes $142 million in transmission investments to serve member loads and support system reliability. Tri-State’s 10-year capital outlook for transmission estimates $1.9 billion in investments to ensure it can meet needs across the four-state service territory.

Two projects currently being proposed in the state attempt to address growth in population and the state’s agriculture industry; reliability concerns; and the facilitation of renewable energy development.

Recently, a partnership involving San Isabel Electric, San Luis Valley Rural Electric, Tri-State and Xcel Energy completed public meetings to solicit input on a proposed transmission project important to reliability in Colorado.

The Southern Colorado Transmission Improvements Project would stretch from Alamosa to Walsenburg, then north to Pueblo. It’s needed to increase reliability, serve growing electricity needs and provide interconnection for renewable energy resources.

Currently, Tri-State is working with the Rural Utilities Service to conduct an environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Tri-State also is proposing a new project to construct a 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the Farmington area in northwest New Mexico to Ignacio, Colorado in La Plata County.

The transmission line will increase load serving capabilities for residential, small business and industrial electric consumers, resulting in a major improvement for the overall power delivery infrastructure in the four-million acre San Juan Basin. In addition, the line will relieve transmission constraints and provide a new gateway for renewable energy development in the region.

Tri-State recognizes the importance of a reliable and efficient transmission infrastructure to help facilitate the delivery of affordable and reliable power to its 1.2 million consumers; and will continue to invest in new transmission to support reliability and facilitate renewable energy development.