Colorado co-op signs on for 1.2 TWh of annual renewable energy


Invenergy, a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy assets announced it has entered a wholesale power supply agreement with CORE Electric Cooperative, the largest not-for-profit electric cooperative in Colorado.

The partnership includes an agreement to purchase 1.2 TWh of renewable energy per year. It will include 400 MW of new solar and wind power and 100 MW of battery energy storage, starting in 2026. This output will be supported by 300 MW of existing natural gas resources.

The wholesale power purchase agreement spans 20 years. The co-op said this partnership will “signal CORE’s transformation to a fully independent electric utility with control of its power supply future.”

CORE said the new agreements will supply the bulk of its wholesale energy needs. The company has set a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2030. It has also stated plans to create more flexibility by implementing additional battery storage and other technologies in the future. The portfolio is expected to stabilize CORE’s costs to keep members’ rates among the lowest in Colorado for years to come, said the company.

The partnership with Invenergy “demonstrates that the transition to a clean and reliable energy future can be done without sacrificing affordability for our members,” said Jeff Baudier, chief executive officer of CORE Electric Cooperative.

“CORE is competitively positioned to support native growth and aggressively pursue new business.” The cooperative is member-owned, providing power to nearly 180,000 customers in a 5,000 square mile service area along the Colorado Front Range.

Chicago-based Invenergy is a big player in the Colorado utility-scale solar market. In 2021, the company announced a 127 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Guzman Energy for the Boutique Solar project in Montezuma County, Colorado, in the state’s far southwestern corner. The project will generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes and is expected to be operational at the end of 2025.

Colorado sources about 6.2% of its electricity from solar, higher than the national average. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports 2.3 GW of operational solar in the state through Q3 2022.

Image: SEIA

SEIA estimates $5.1 billion has been invested in the technology in Colorado, while prices have fallen 52% over the last decade. An additional 3.6 GW of solar is expected to be built over the next five years, ranking the state 13 in terms of deployment projections.

“Colorado, with over 300 sunny days per year, has tremendous solar potential and was one of the first states in the U.S. to have a Renewable Energy Standard. There are multiple solar programs in Colorado for rooftop solar, community solar and utility-scale solar. SEIA is engaged in legislative and regulatory discussions to encourage renewable energy growth and deployment,” said SEIA.

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