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Holy Cross Energy named Electric Cooperative of the Year

August 7, 2020, 11:34 am

Holy Cross Energy on Friday put out the following press release announcing it has been named the Electric Cooperative of the Year by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA):

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO., August 7, 2020 — Holy Cross Energy (HCE) has been named Electric Cooperative of the Year for 2020 by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), recognizing utilities, industry partners and other stakeholders working on the front lines of the U.S. clean energy transition.

“Holy Cross Energy is taking strong steps towards achieving its goal of 70 percent renewable supply by 2030. Holy Cross also contributed to the innovative Basalt Vista microgrid project, and they provide industry-leading support for their member-customer’s installation of on-site renewables and storage,” said Julia Hamm, President and CEO of SEPA. “Congratulations to Holy Cross Energy on this well-deserved recognition.”

In 2018, HCE announced its Seventy70Thirty plan, with a goal of increasing the amount of clean and renewable electricity provided to HCE members to 70 percent while also reducing HCE’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent from 2014 levels, all with no additional increase in the cost of power supply. Since the Seventy70Thirty plan was announced, HCE has increased its clean energy content from 39% to 44%, with another 3% coming from voluntary member participation in HCE’s Powered by 100% Renewable Energy (PuRE) program. HCE has several new wind and solar projects under contract that will substantially increase the amount of clean energy on HCE’s system in the coming years. HCE’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 are already 37% below 2014 levels, even with sales of electricity increasing by 3.2% over that time.   

“On behalf of the Board and membership of HCE, I want to congratulate and thank the entire HCE staff for their outstanding achievements as recognized by the 2020 SEPA Power Players Award,” said Dave Munk, HCE Board Chair. “For more than 80 years, HCE has safely provided reliable and affordable electric service with a culture of innovation and member focus. We are both proud and honored that HCE has now also been recognized as a national example of how groundbreaking progress in clean energy and grid modernization can be achieved without any increase in power supply costs. This aspect of the clean energy transition has become even more significant as our members and communities face the social and economic stresses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Now in their twelfth year, the SEPA Power Players Awards recognize utilities, their industry partners, individuals and other stakeholders working on the front lines of the U.S. energy transition. In particular, the SEPA Power Players Awards focus on projects, initiatives, and thought leadership that promote collaborative, innovative, and replicable models for change. These industry leaders significantly advance knowledge of or access to clean energy with solutions that benefit electricity consumers and the grid. Winners in eight award categories were recognized during the 2020 SEPA virtual Grid Evolution Summit on July 28-30.

Accepting the award for HCE, President and CEO Bryan Hannegan said, “This SEPA award is a result of the leadership of our Board, the hard work of our staff, and the support of our members and our communities. Whether it’s our acquisition of new wind and solar resources for our power supply portfolio through our Seventy70Thirty plan, our investments in electric transportation through our Charge at Work and Charge at Home programs, or our work on electrification of the built environment for the betterment of our communities, such as our Basalt Vista affordable housing project, we are leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future here at Holy Cross Energy.”

Basalt Vista is an affordable housing community optimized with a first-of-its-kind energy distribution system. HCE is studying how adjusting the energy levels of homes may be more cost-effective for members than modifying production at a power plant, leading to cost savings for members.  The Basalt Vista project was itself a 2020 finalist for the SEPA Grid Integration Power Player of the Year.

HCE’s Charge at Home and Charge at Work programs are also making it easier for members to switch to electric vehicles by providing incentives for vehicle charging infrastructure, such as rebates and on-bill financing for Level 2 EV chargers in homes and workplaces, and partnerships with businesses and communities to install fast EV charging infrastructure and/or invest in electric transit and school buses.

For more information on the SEPA Power Player Awards and HCE’s acceptance video, visit https://sepapower.org/knowledge/sepa-announces-2020-power-players-award-winners/.

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