A new wind-farm project in Colorado’s Lincoln County is expected to supply green power to Holy Cross Energy starting in mid-2021, the company announced last week.
Holy Cross, a regional electricity cooperative based in Glenwood Springs, has signed an agreement with its partner, wholesale power provider Guzman Energy of Denver, to develop the 150-megawatt Arriba Wind Farm. Luxembourg-based NGC Partners, an international investment and asset management firm focused on the clean energy sector, also is involved in the facility’s development.
In a news release, Holy Cross said it will purchase 100 megawatts of the project’s output. That will produce enough energy to supply about 30 percent of the company’s annual energy requirements, the release says.
Guzman Energy will use the remaining 50 megawatts to serve other communities that are part of its customer base. Guzman has the option to commission another 50 megawatts in increased project size, which would expand its share to 100 megawatts, the release states.
“The agreement we have signed today with Guzman Energy and NGC Partners is an important step in fulfilling our Seventy70Thirty commitment to clean energy, while maintaining reliable and affordable energy supply for our members and the communities they live in,” Steve Beuning, vice president of power supply and programs at Holy Cross, said in a prepared statement.
The company’s Seventy70Thirty renewable energy goals call for achieving 70 percent annual energy from clean and renewable sources, with a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from 2014 levels no later than 2030, last week’s release says.
In December, Holy Cross and Guzman Energy entered into a partnership to accelerate the cooperative’s progress toward meeting its green-energy goals without increasing power costs for its members.
A January news release mentioned the development of a wind farm, saying that in addition to other renewable resources, the new power-generating facility would put Holy Cross on a path to meet its goals earlier than expected.
In addition to joining forces on the wind-farm project, the two companies agreed that Guzman can use, as necessary, Holy Cross’ stake in Unit 3 of the coal-fired Comanche Generating Station, which is located in Pueblo. The Comanche Station resource will supplement renewable energy output from sources such as the planned wind farm.
“This deal allows [Holy Cross] to meet renewable energy goals without increasing cost, adds more renewables to the grid in the West and supplements Guzman’s overall resource mix with reliable baseload, as needed,” Jeff Heit, managing director of Guzman Energy, said in the January release.
Heit called the December agreement “another example of what can be accomplished if stakeholders work together to find innovative ways to transition to the new energy economy.”
Founded in 1939, Holy Cross Energy is a not-for-profit rural electric cooperative that provides power and related services for more than 43,000 members and their communities across Western Colorado, including areas of the Roaring Fork Valley.