Platte River board OKs move to 100 percent non-carbon energy mix

The Platte River Power Authority Board of Directors on Dec. 6 unanimously passed a resource diversification policy calling for a 100 percent non-carbon energy mix by 2030 provided key advancements are achieved that would enable goal attainment.

The policy directs Platte River management to proactively pursue the goal of obtaining a 100 percent non-carbon resource mix by 2030 while maintaining the organization’s three core pillars to provide reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable electricity and services. The resolution noted several advancements that must take place in order to achieve the non-carbon objective.

In particular, Platte River will need to become an active participant in an organized regional market so it can participate in more robust energy trading activities. Also, battery storage technologies and performance must mature, along with other storage solutions, so Platte River may more cost-effectively store energy produced by renewable energy resources. Greater investment and integration of the region’s transmission and distribution systems must occur to leverage more advanced grid management technologies and to take advantage of more diverse energy resources.

Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO for Platte River, noted that approximately 32 percent “of the energy we deliver to our owner communities comes from noncarbon resources and, by 2020, about 50 percent of our energy will come from non-carbon resources.”

To reach the 50 percent non-carbon mark, Platte River will begin to take the output from a 150-megawatt wind farm that will be built in southern Wyoming, under a power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy that was signed earlier this year.

In addition, Platte River plans to install an additional 20 megawatts of solar energy capacity at its Rawhide Energy Station located near Wellington.

Longer term planning to achieve the 100 percent objective is currently taking place within Platte River’s integrated resource planning (IRP) process. The final draft of the IRP is expected in 2020.

Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado for delivery to their utility customers.