Vail Daily letter: Holy Cross among best |

Vail Daily letter: Holy Cross among best

Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

I am perplexed to see the recent comments about Holy Cross Energy and its board of directors in our newspapers, and, in particular, the lack of facts to support the various views. My only explanation is that those who make the comments either haven’t taken the time to properly research Holy Cross’ environmental and clean energy support record or want to ignore this officially published and measured data, as it doesn’t support their individual agendas to sway the public with erroneous statements and bolster their influence within the board of the utility.

For those Holy Cross customers that want to know the facts, here are a few:

1) Holy Cross is ranked in the top 10 in the nation for the amount of solar installed per total customers, according to the 2008 Solar Electric Power Association survey.

2) To date, Holy Cross has distributed more than $2.2 million of renewable energy generation incentives to its customer members, resulting in 1.2 MW of installed clean energy (3.2 million pounds of CO2 avoided each year). Holy Cross has consistently ranked as one of the top rebate programs in the nation in terms of total dollars distributed, even though they are a small utility on national standards. Holy Cross was also one of the first in the nation to offer renewable-energy solar rebate incentives in order to grow local adoption of clean energy.

3) Holy Cross has placed an environmental responsibility on itself to voluntarily double its required state level of renewable-energy portfolio standard (the amount of clean energy provided to its customers). Their internal target is to achieve this doubled goal a full five years ahead of the state requirements (20 percent renewable by 2015).

4) Holy Cross is responsible for the creation of the first community-owned clean energy model in the United States.

5) Holy Cross , in collaboration with the Clean Energy Collective, is directly responsible for encouraging the creation of the Sun Act of 2010 with Sen. Mark Udall to promote a drastic increase in the national adoption of solar energy.

Holy Cross is now creating even better clean energy opportunities for its members by supporting large-scale, local clean energy generation that will make solar ownership available and more affordable to all of its customers. The board has unanimously voted to support two of the most progressive clean energy projects that have been presented to any utility in the nation in recent years, representing an initial increase of 1.3 MW of clean energy – more than doubling the 1.2 MW achieved to date. These projects include the approval of a large 300 kW solar array to power the proposed TCI Lane Ranch neighborhood in the Roaring Fork Valley as a net-zero development, and the creation of the first community-owned, large scale, clean energy facilities in the nation via the Clean Energy Collective.

In my personal experience, Holy Cross Energy has a very sound board and leadership that is both a clean energy pioneer as well as represents the best interests of its customers through smart, judicious decisions.

I wonder why those frivolously attacking the utility and its board are not leading by the same example that Holy Cross has set? How many of them are currently producing a large portion of their electrical needs through clean energy ownership? Holy Cross is clearly part of the solution. All of us need to join them in our own efforts to collectively achieve widespread clean energy generation.

Paul Spencer President, Clean Energy Collective

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