Vail Valley power provider Holy Cross Energy commits to new clean-energy goals
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Holy Cross Energy, the electric cooperative serving Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties, has announced that it has adopted seventy70thirty, its new clean-energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals for its future power supply resources.
By 2030, Holy Cross will:
• Use clean and renewable resources to supply at least 70 percent of the power provided to Holy Cross members, compared to 39 percent today.
• Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Holy Cross’s power supply by 70 percent from 2014 levels, compared to 25 percent today.
• Accomplish both of these goals with no additional increase in the cost of power supply.
“With today’s announcement, Holy Cross is leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future,” said Bryan Hannegan, Holy Cross president and CEO. “Thanks to advances in technology and changes in energy markets, we have the opportunity to bring on new renewable energy resources at costs comparable to our existing supply. This will enable us to meet our clean-energy goals while maintaining the reliable, affordable and safe service our members have come to expect.”
To meet its new goals, Holy Cross will increase its purchases of renewable energy while reducing its dependence on coal-fired generation and will further improve the energy efficiency of its network and the buildings, vehicles and businesses connected to it. Lastly, Holy Cross will accelerate investments in new renewable energy resources directly connected to its electric distribution grid and the homes and businesses it serves.
The new goals were formally adopted by the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors at the group’s Wednesday, Sept. 19, meeting in Glenwood Springs. The decision followed a lengthy process of evaluating Holy Cross power supply options and corresponding costs. Holy Cross also reached out to its local communities, surveyed its membership and participated with local stakeholders to develop goals that are aligned with the desires of its members for a cleaner, more sustainable power supply.
“To see projections showing that we can achieve this very ambitious goal at rates entirely competitive with where they otherwise would have been is a win for all of our members — providing a significantly cleaner energy mix, while protecting our members who are more vulnerable to higher monthly expenses,” said Megan Gilman, chair of the Holy Cross Board of Directors.
Holy Cross has long-term power supply commitments through contracts with Public Service Company of Colorado (a subsidiary of Xcel Energy) and the Western Area Power Administration. Additional electric supply comes from several other sources, including biomass, coal-mine waste methane, solar and hydro-power facilities within Holy Cross’s service territory.
Founded in 1939, Holy Cross Energy is a nonprofit rural electric cooperative that provides safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy and services that improve the quality of life for more than 43,000 members and their communities in Western Colorado.
The valley’s commercial and residential property markets are similar in some ways — availability is tight and nothing is what you’d call “cheap.”