Report: Sun, wind engery a boom for Colo. |

Report: Sun, wind engery a boom for Colo.

DENVER, Colorado ” Colorado’s plentiful sunshine and wind could boost the state’s economy if financing can be found for power plants and transmission lines to deliver energy to other states, state officials say.

A report from the Governor’s Energy Office identified 10 locations in southern and eastern Colorado where wind and sun could generate 122,000 megawatts of power at peak capacity. That compares with 11,000 megawatts of power used in Colorado on summer days when demand is at its highest.

The surplus could be sold to other states, such as California, but to transform that energy into power, the state would need more than 50,000 new wind turbines and dozens of square miles of solar collectors, the report concluded.

It could be several decades before the potential economic benefit could be fully realized because of the need for funding as well as construction of transmission lines, Tom Plant, director of the Governor’s Energy Office, told The Denver Post in Friday’s editions.

However, if a small percentage of the resources were developed, it still would impact the economy, according to Don Elliman, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development.

In a related development, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has issued a request for proposals for resources such as wind and solar power. The Westminster-based electricity wholesaler supplies 44 electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska.

J.M. Shafer, executive vice president and general manage, said the increase in renewable energy will allow Tri-State to meet mandates in Colorado and New Mexico that require it to supply 10 percent of its power from renewable energy. Proposals are due by late March.

Tri-State also said Thursday it is reducing the cost of its voluntary green-power program where customers may elect to pay a premium for renewable electricity. The cost will be cut from $1.25 per 100 kilowatt-hours to 40 cents through mid-2008.


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