Platte River Power Authority in Colorado, USA, has signed a power purchase agreement for 150 MW of new wind power capacity to serve its four owner municipalities - Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland.
Courtesy of Enyo Renewable Energy
The wind-generated energy will come from a new wind farm located less than 20 miles north of Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station. 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 the additional transmission capacity needed to bring the energy to Platte River’s four municipalities. The new transmission line will connect the wind power directly to Platte River’s transmission system at the Rawhide Station and will nearly triple Platte River’s existing output from wind.
“Platte River took a giant leap today to further diversify the energy portfolio serving northern Colorado” said Jason Frisbie, CEO of Platte River Power Authority. “With this acquisition, we will dramatically increase our non-carbon energy footprint on behalf of our municipalities and northern Colorado residents.”
Christine Mikell, principal of Enyo Renewable Energy, added that the project will become a tremendous renewable energy resource for Platte River and that, given that the contracts are in hand, Enyo can begin working with regional regulatory agencies so that construction may begin as soon as possible.
More than 30 percent of the electricity currently supplied to Platte River’s owner municipalities comes from carbon-free resources (hydro, wind and solar). This amount ranks among the highest levels provided by wholesale electric suppliers in the Rocky Mountain Region and is about twice the national average. By adding the 150 MW of wind power in late 2020, Platte River could achieve a 48 percent carbon-free energy portfolio for its customers.
The Platte River Board first directed its staff to seek proposals to add up to 50 MW of new wind power capacity in mid-2017. The move is part of its strategy to diversify resources while balancing financial and environmental interests. The decision to move forward to agree a PPA was finally made in December.
Platte River's current wind power portfolio consists of three separate PPAs with a combined generating capacity of 78 MW from three wind farms in northern Colorado and Wyoming. In 2016, Platte River also began taking power from a 30 MW solar installation located on its Rawhide Energy Station property. The utility also maintains a long-term contract with the Western Area Power Administration for 90 MW of hydroelectric generating capacity.