The American Public Power Association recognizes the first full week in October as Public Power Week. It’s an opportunity for the 2,000 public power providers around the country and the communities they serve to celebrate the value of community-owned electrical service. Platte River Power Authority (wholesale power provider) and Estes Park Power and Communications, Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont Power & Communications and Loveland Water and Power (distribution utilities) are not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that are committed to the people we serve.
Being community-owned means we’re able to respond to your needs and adapt quickly to unplanned situations. In the late 1960s, when the federal government notified Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland that federal hydropower supplies would be limited in the future, the four communities joined to form the Platte River Power Authority. While the organization has grown substantially since then, our mission has remained the same: to safely provide reliable, financially sustainable and environmentally responsible energy and services to you, our customers.
We know reliable electricity is more important than ever as many of you continue working and learning from home. Platte River and our owner communities’ utilities take seriously our responsibility to provide this public health and safety service. You are our shareholders and we pride ourselves in responding to your needs and goals while consistently providing reliable energy. Many of us work and live in the communities we serve, and it matters to us that we continue to uphold our mission and vision. It also matters to the northern Colorado economy and to the businesses, schools, universities and hospitals that reside here and depend on our services to meet their customers’ growing needs.
Over the last five decades, Platte River and our owner communities’ utilities have collaborated to serve you with a highly reliable system at the lowest rates in the state while continuing to lead the energy transformation that’s currently underway. In 1998, we were the first utility in Colorado to offer wind energy to our communities. When the communities asked for a more diversified portfolio, we commissioned studies for customized resource plans for each community and then launched a zero-net carbon study to better understand the impacts of a significant carbon reduction initiative. In 2018, Platte River’s Board of Directors unanimously passed a Resource Diversification Policy calling for 100% noncarbon energy mix by 2030, one of the most aggressive goals in the country. In 2020, the board approved portfolio 2 of our most recent integrated resource plan, another significant step on the path toward this goal.
Since then, we’ve transformed our energy portfolio with the addition of more noncarbon resources. We added another solar project and our largest wind resource to date over the last two years and plan to add our largest solar project to date by the end of 2023. Looking ahead, we’ll be challenged more than ever to innovate and adapt as we work together with you, our customers, to transform our energy future. We encourage you to continue engaging with us and provide feedback as we lead the way toward a noncarbon energy future.
From all of us at Platte River, we are humbled and honored that you’ve entrusted us to provide this critical service since 1973. We hope you join us in celebrating Public Power Week.