Colorado Senate passes 25% RPS
Rural electricity cooperatives would have to meet new standard by 2020
The Colorado state Senate narrowly passed a bill that increases the amount of renewable energy that rural electricity cooperatives must use.
The legislation requires that co-ops source 25% by 2020, an increase from the 10% standard set in 2007.
The proposal, which passed in an 18-17 vote, now goes to the House of Representatives.
“We congratulate the Colorado Senate for taking a big step forward in expanding solar and wind energy in Colorado,” said Conservation Colorado executive director Pete Maysmith.
“This legislation increases access of clean power to all of Colorado, expands local homegrown energy, and opens up new generation markets in capturing methane and power from municipal solid waste.”
The legislation, however, is opposed by Republican lawmakers, the cooperatives and their wholesale power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.
A 25% RPS could cost Tri-State and its members up to $4bn over the next 20 years, said Tri-State EVP and general manager Ken Anderson.
“It is irresponsible – not to mention probably unachievable – and could cost Colorado electric cooperatives and their member-owners billions of dollars,” said Anderson.
The House is expected to take up the bill in the next few weeks. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 9 May.
Image: Cedar Creek wind farm in Colorado (NCAR)