Colorado Power Provider Significantly Ups Wind Energy Portfolio

Platte River Power Authority, a nonprofit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider in Colorado, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 150 MW of new wind power capacity to serve its four owner municipalities – Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland.

The additional wind power will come from a new wind farm located less than 20 miles north of Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station. Notably, the deal will nearly triple Platte River’s existing output from wind.

Enyo Renewable Energy’s subsidiary, Roundhouse Renewable Energy LLC, will construct the Roundhouse project with up to 75 wind turbines across 14,000 acres of land, as well as additional transmission capacity. A new transmission line will connect the wind power directly to Platte River’s transmission system at the Rawhide station.

More than 30% of the electricity currently supplied to Platte River’s owner municipalities comes from carbon-free resources (hydro, wind and solar). By adding the 150 MW of wind power in late 2020, Platte River says it could achieve a 48% carbon-free energy portfolio for its customers.

In mid-2017, the Platte River board directed staff to seek proposals to add up to 50 MW of new wind power capacity as part of its strategy to diversify resources while balancing financial and environmental interests. Many of the proposals featured wind power at attractive rates, and Platte River’s leadership determined that significant additions could be made to its system without impacting reliability. In December, the Platte River Board expressed support for the PPA.

Platte River currently has three separate PPAs with a combined generating capacity of 78 MW from three wind farms in northern Colorado and Wyoming. In 2016, Platte River began taking power from a 30 MW solar installation located on its Rawhide Energy Station property. Platte River also maintains a long-term contract with the Western Area Power Administration for 90 MW of hydroelectric generating capacity.

“We will continue to depend upon our baseload resources to provide us with reliable, low-cost and comparatively clean energy,” says Jason Frisbie, CEO of Platte River. “This additional wind power helps our municipalities achieve significant carbon reduction objectives while continuing to meet our three primary objectives: reliability, environmental responsibility and financial sustainability.”

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