Colorado Springs Utilities signed a contract with Xcel Energy last week that will allow customers to buy into wind energy coming from a wind farms in northeastern Colorado.
The two-year deal will bring 20,000 megawatt hours to Colorado Springs, and could bring the utility company closer to its goal of offering 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, said Kenny Romero, Utilities’ renewable energy manager.
The program effectively offers utilities customers the chance to help finance wind energy – for a rate of $2.14 per 100 kilowatt hour each month. Average electric use for homes in Colorado Springs is 600 kilowatt hours per month, according to Utilities. While customers would be supporting wind energy for the company, there is no guarantee that the energy will make it to their homes, Romero said.
“It is being used by Colorado Springs Utilities’ customers, but maybe not your specific house,” Romero said.
The company’s last contract had 1,300 customers subscribed; already, the current contract 63 percent spoken for, Romero said. The remaining amount of the initial 20,000 megawatt hours can be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis, he said.
The El Paso County commissioners have approved an initial project by NextEra Energy Resources to build a wind farm near Calhan. Although the proposed amendments to the project have been rejected by the county’s planning commission, if the project goes through, Utilities does not have plans to use the energy generated by the wind farm, Romero said.
Because Utilities is municipally owned, the company is not required to comply with public renewable energy standards, which mandate that municipal utilities use 10 percent renewable energy by 2020, Romero said. Instead, Colorado Springs Utilities has set its goal, 10 percent higher than the government standard.
To sign up for wind energy, customers can visit www.csu.org, or contact utilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or448-4800.
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