Platte River Power Authority (PRPA), the electric utility that serves Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, and Estes Park, is proposing a board resolution that would fast-track the construction of a new 200 MW, $239 Million gas-fired power plant to come online in 2028. Just 5 years ago, in 2018, PRPA adopted a goal of 100% non-carbon electricity by 2030, and we need the board to make sure its decisions don’t compromise that goal or result in unnecessary rate increases.
PRPA is supposed to make big decisions like these through long-term energy planning processes called “Integrated Resource Plans” or IRPs. By effectively deciding to build a new gas plant outside of the IRP process, PRPA is skirting public accountability and community member input.
The next IRP is due in mid-2024. The board should respect PRPA’s process by waiting for the IRP to be completed and demanding that it be reviewed by outside expert organizations such as the CSU Energy Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) before making any major investment decisions on “dispatchable capacity” such as gas plants.
Please send a short message to PRPA board members asking them to oppose Board Resolution No. 11-23 (see page 77-78) in its current form. Please do this by the end of the day on Wednesday, October 25th so that they will have the opportunity to read it before their meeting on October 26th. Messages to all board members should be sent to email@example.com. A sample e-message is provided below. Please personalize it if you have the time, but if you don’t, just copy, paste add your name and address, and send. Thanks!
Dear PRPA Board Chair Bergsten and Directors Arndt, Peck, Marsh, Koenig, Minor, Hornbacher, and Gertig:
I am deeply troubled that that PRPA Management is asking you to approve that they “proactively develop the dispatchable capacity necessary to protect system reliability and financial sustainability” prior to completing the 2024 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Resolution 11-23 makes clear that Management’s intention is to proceed with a new fracked gas/methane power plant in the near future. Such a plant would cost at least $239 Million. The PRPA should not make such a large investment decision without a more thorough vetting of alternatives than has been done to date.
The IRP should be completed, and subjected to outside review by expert agencies such as the CSU Energy Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. PRPA has one of the most ambitious non-carbon goals in the nation, and it makes sense for it to avail itself of these resources in order to achieve a non-carbon electricity supply as close to 2030 as possible, at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers.
Please exercise your oversight authority on behalf of both the PRPA and the ratepayers in Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, and Estes Park. No new power plant should be developed before the 2024 IRP has been completed and thoroughly reviewed.