FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Platte River Power Authority's Board of Directors has taken a position opposed to Amendment 37, the Renewable Energy Initiative. Platte River is the community-owned supplier of electricity to the municipal utilities in Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland. Platte River's Board of Directors is comprised of the communities' Mayors and utility directors.
Platte River supports renewable energy and has for many years. The use of renewable energy sources offers environmental advantages over burning fossil fuels and helps conserve those fuels for use by future generations.
"More than 25 percent of the power Platte River supplied to its owner communities in 2003, was produced using renewable resources such as hydropower and wind energy," says Brian Moeck, Platte River's general manager. "In fact, hydropower–electricity produced from the energy of moving water–is Platte River's lowest cost resource."
In 1998, Platte River became the first utility in Colorado to supply wind power to customers. Since then, Platte River has supplied its member's utilities with over 100 million kilowatt-hours of wind energy, equivalent to the average annual consumption of over 13,000 homes. This wind energy is produced by Platte River's own wind turbines and purchased from other generating companies.
The reasons for the Board's opposition to Amendment 37 include:
If passed, Amendment 37 would replace the current voluntary system, where consumers who can afford the extra cost may sign up to purchase energy from renewable resources, with another that forces utilities to buy arbitrarily defined quantities of that energy and pass along the extra costs to customers.
Proponents of the amendment claim it will save consumers money. In fact, because Amendment 37 would not allow existing, low-cost renewable hydropower to be used to meet the new requirements, the amendment would cost the consumers in our communities $8.5 million to $20 million over the next ten years.
Platte River and its four members' utilities already have programs providing renewable energy that were designed based on input from the local communities. Locally designed programs meet local needs better than state imposed mandates.
Amendment 37 would shift some control of our local utilities' resource decisions away from the communities' citizens and governments to the state Public Utilities Commission. Platte River's board believes that resource decisions regarding municipal utilities are best addressed at the local level.
Platte River Power Authority provides reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible electricity to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland and has since 1973.