Last Thursday, a resolution was approved 8-0 by the Platte River Power Authority board.
As Mayor, I serve as a representative to the Platte River board for Fort Collins. The resolution in which we voted on covers both the overall path of Platte River’s transition to 100% clean energy and how that path relates to the outcomes for Fort Collins’ climate goals, Our Climate Future (OCF).
Our Climate Future (OCF) is a comprehensive plan to simultaneously address climate, energy and waste goals while improving our community’s equity and resilience. OCF articulates an unwavering commitment to mitigating and adapting to climate change with a people-first systems-approach.
OCF implementation intensifies our community efforts to achieve these goals:
Reduce 2030 greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2005 baseline levels.
Provide 100% renewable electricity by 2030 with grid and local sources.
Achieve zero waste, or 100% landfill diversion, by 2030.
As we fight for a sustainable future in Fort Collins, there are some struggles we are faced with to reach our goal while still meeting the power demands of our citizens. Due to the length of time required for permitting a potential power generation supply, this resolution was brought to Platte River’s board to allow the exploration of all possible options moving forward.
About the resolution:
It contains the Platte River’s proposed portfolio including over 500 megawatts of solar and wind, batteries, a locally coordinated virtual power plant and the proposed natural gas turbines.
This gas-powered engine can be turned off and on up to eight times a day (depending on need). This helps us with our base load during the transition when we shut down the coal fired Rawhide plant. The engine is convertible to hydrogen and will be converted when the technology becomes available. This will ensure the system will continue to be utilized for decades to come.
This portfolio is consistent with Fort Collins achieving its 2030 Our Climate Future goals with the current modelling forecast showing we will generate more renewable electricity in 2030 than the four cities total use.
A Commitment from Fort Collins to facilitate more local generation and resources that reduce carbon emissions which will reduce the overall need for purchased electricity.
A Commitment from Fort Collins to collaborate with the other member cities and Platte River necessary for the transition to renewable resources, organized electricity markets, and the 100% non-carbon resource diversification policy goal. This transition also implies an evolving relationship with Platte River for finance, planning and operations to execute the portfolio.
Platte River Power Authority commits to the development of this energy portfolio, which is in line with Fort Collin’s scheduled rate increase projections. Which were designed to be smooth, predictable rate increases.
We need a resiliency plan, because if the lights go out during our rapid transition to a clean energy future, I worry about vulnerable communities who are the least likely to have alternative heat and power sources. The convertible gas engine is a bridge that ensures energy for all, is convertible to hydrogen and will be used decreasingly over time as renewables increase. For all of the above reasons and for social justice ones, too, I supported the resolution. I hope that this helps to provide more details about our path towards reaching out OCF goals of a clean energy future.