April 13, 2009

Colorado power companies seek alternatives to coal

Coal is being cancelled across the nation. For a while now, utilities coast to coast have been taking another look at their energy portfolios and scrapping plans for new coal plants. We've been suggesting that Santee Cooper should do the same, and now, according to Greenwire (a publication of E&E Publishing), it looks like a Colorado power group has also seen the writing on the wall.

COAL: Colo. power group reconsiders portfolio (04/13/2009)

A Colorado-based power association is reconsidering its long-term plans for coal-based electricity as it pursues innovations in energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage.

The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a cooperative of electric companies from Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming, was once looking to secure long-term purchases from the Sunflower Electric Power Corp.'s proposed coal plants in Kansas.

But with legislation in support of those plants facing a likely executive veto, the association is being forced to look to near-term alternatives like natural gas and renewable energy, said general manager Ken Anderson.

"We will still continue to make investments in research and development that preserves coal as an affordable, reliable and responsible resource option," he said. "We're also pursuing innovations in energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage that bring value to rural electric customers."

New energy solutions are needed for the association, which saw increased congestion on its power lines lead to more outages last year. Electric sales reached a record 14 million megawatt-hours last year, surpassing 2007's record by 4.2 percent.

The company is pursuing a project with Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar Inc. to develop a 30-megawatt solar power plant in northeastern New Mexico, and is still engaged in coal-based carbon capture and storage pilot projects (Catherine Tsai, AP/Forbes.com, April 10). -- PT

(Full story reposted from http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2009/04/13/11/. Subscription required.)

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