Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy the electricity from the state’s newest planned renewable energy resource, the 67-megawatt Colorado Highlands Wind project. The facility will be built on a 5,200-acre site in northeast Colorado’s Logan County, within the service territory of Tri-State member co-op Highline Electric Association, and is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year.
The project will use GE wind turbine generators and will be developed by Colorado Highlands Wind, LLC, which is jointly owned by Alliance Power, Inc. of Littleton, Colo., and GE Energy Financial Services of Stamford, Conn. Financial terms of the contract are being held confidential and were not disclosed.
“Increasing the amount of renewable resources in our energy mix further diversifies our overall generation portfolio,” said Tri-State executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson. “It not only attracts investment to the communities our member co-ops serve, but it also keeps us on schedule in assisting our members to meet their obligations under state renewable portfolio standards,” he said.
“Highline Electric is pleased to be in position to provide service to Colorado Highlands Wind and we’re looking forward to working with them during the construction process,” said Mark Farnsworth, manager of the local electric co-op. “We also appreciate the economic development opportunities that the project provides in our service territory.”
The agreement culminates a process begun in October 2011 when Tri-State issued a request for proposals for renewable energy supply, which resulted in nearly 50 responses consisting of a variety of technologies and potential locations.
Colorado Highlands Wind will be the third utility-scale renewable energy facility from which Tri- State receives all of the electrical output and renewable energy credits. In 2010 the wholesale power supplier began purchasing the power generated at the 51-megawatt Kit Carson Windpower Project in eastern Colorado as well as the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility in northeastern New Mexico.
Based in the Denver suburb of Westminster, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a notfor-profit wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts serving approximately 1.5 million consumers throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.