Avon now powered by real wind | VailDaily.com

Avon now powered by real wind

Matt TerrellVail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado Wind farms across Colorado are now producing 100 percent of Avons electricity.The town began this month buying wind-made electricity from Holy Cross Energy to power street lights and town buildings like the recreation center and town hall.Fossil fuels arent burned to produce wind electricity, virtually eliminating the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Wind energy is widely considered to be more environmentally friendly.Unlike the town of Vail and Vail Resorts, Avon isnt buying offsets or renewable energy certificates.The energy being used by Avon is the same energy being produced by wind farms, while those who buy offsets and renewable energy certificates are actually buying guarantees that when a town uses electricity created by burning fossil fuels, its replaced in the grid with an equal amount of clean energy produced by wind farmers.These arent just credits to off-set our electricity use. This is a hundred percent bona-fide wind power. Town Manager Larry Brooks said.Avon has been on a waiting list since 2006 with Holy Cross Energy to buy wind power. The power is produced in Colorado at wind power farms located in Ponnequin, Ridgecrest, Lamar, Peetz Table, Logan, Twin Buttes and Cedar Creek.

The wind power is more expensive about 28 percent more than the electricity the town used to buy. Based on 2007 energy use, the town will be buying around 2,450,000 kilowatt hours of energy, costing around $61,000.Town leaders say the extra cost is worth it to reduce the towns carbon footprint and lead residents in becoming a better stewards of the environment. Governments as a whole are one of the largest energy consumers in the world, said Jennifer Strehler, Avons public works and transportation director. We have a unique opportunity to lead by example in a way that positively impacts climate change.Avon resident Cameron Parker, a weekly recycler and bus rider, said he was pleased to see Avon start using wind power. The more people who invest in that stuff, the better, Parker said. Id like to see every town here do something like that.Buying wind power is the most recent in a flurry of environmental action from the town. Avon recently finished an audit of its energy use to see where it can reduce its carbon emissions and is developing a comprehensive energy plan. The town also recently bought a hybrid bus and a high-efficiency diesel bus.Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.

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