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Holy Cross Energy’s new SEVENTY70THIRTY plan shoots for 70 percent renewable power

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September 20, 2018, 2:03 pm

Holy Cross Energy, the local rural electric coop that provides power from Vail to Aspen, announced on Wednesday an ambitious new plan called SEVENTY70THIRTY aimed at a 70-percent clean, renewable energy target by 2030. Here’s the full press release from Holy Cross:

Holy Cross Energy Sets New 70% Clean Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goals

Glenwood Springs, CO, September 19, 2018 — Holy Cross Energy (HCE), the electric cooperative serving the Colorado counties of Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin, including the resort towns of Aspen and Vail, today announced that it has formally adopted SEVENTY70THIRTY; its new clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals for its future power supply resources.

By 2030, HCE will

  • Use clean and renewable resources to supply at least 70% of the power provided to HCE members, compared to 39% today;
  • Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with HCE’s power supply by 70% from 2014 levels; compared to 25% today; and
  • Accomplish both of these goals with no additional increase in the cost of power supply.

“With today’s announcement, HCE is leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future,” stated Bryan Hannegan, HCE President and Chief Executive Officer. “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, HCE will increase its purchases of renewable energy while reducing its dependence on coal-fired generation. In addition, HCE will further improve the energy efficiency of its network and the buildings, vehicles, and businesses connected to it. Lastly, HCE will accelerate investments in new renewable energy resources directly connected to HCE’s electric distribution grid and the homes and businesses HCE serves.

The new goals – among the most ambitious in the United States – were formally adopted by HCE’s Board of Directors at their meeting today in Glenwood Springs, following a lengthy process of evaluating HCE power supply options and corresponding costs. HCE also reached out to its local communities, surveyed its membership and participated with local stakeholders to develop goals that are aligned with the expressed desires of its members for a cleaner, more sustainable power supply.

“This announcement is the result of ongoing analysis and proactive action from our dedicated staff, so we offer our sincere appreciation to them for working so hard on what is truly the challenge of a lifetime for the electric industry,” stated Megan Gilman, Chair of the HCE Board of Directors.  “Further, 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.  As a cooperative, we are truly a partner to the communities we serve and look forward to working hand in hand with those communities to see this goal become a reality.”

HCE 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 HCE’s service territory.

Founded in 1939, Holy Cross Energy is a non-profit 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.

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