COVID-19 preventing public deliberation of utility’s energy future
FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 1, 2020 – Platte River Power Authority this week requested the ability to delay the filing of its 2020 integrated resource plan (IRP) until December because its board of directors and the public are not currently able to gather in person to deliberate and discuss future energy mix options.
“Rather than by video or conference calls, we want deliberation regarding our IRP to be open, accessible and in-person,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River. “Direct public engagement will continue when it's safe for our board, leadership, staff and the public to gather and discuss these important energy issues.”
For the March 26 board meeting, Platte River leadership and board members met via video conference to conduct basic business from an abbreviated agenda. The public was invited to provide comment by email and join a conference call for the proceedings. During the meeting, the board members universally expressed the need for direct engagement with one another and the public when deliberating the IRP.
Following the board’s direction, Platte River requested the filing delay with the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), the federal agency that requires Platte River’s IRP filing. Due to the uncertain timeline associated with COVID-19 and restrictions on public gatherings, Platte River staff requested the filing window be delayed until December. The filing could be made prior to the proposed deadline, and staff anticipate a response from WAPA within two weeks.
Frisbie noted that customers of Platte River’s owner communities – Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland – have provided significant input concerning the utility’s future energy mix options through numerous listening sessions, focus group meetings and surveys, and can continue to provide input through a microsite created for the IRP: www.prpa.org/irp. He added the delay in proceedings will also afford Platte River staff the ability to further evaluate the four portfolios.
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Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado for delivery to their utility customers. For more information, visit www.prpa.org