The Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) will be issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) sometime next year for firm, “dispatchable” capacity to make sure they can keep the lights on in Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland after they close the Rawhide coal-fired power plant at the end of 2029. Right now, they’re only giving serious consideration to a fracked gas-fired power plant to provide that generating capacity, with vague promises about being able to operate it someday using “Renewable Natural Gas” or Hydrogen.
Cost estimates for the fracked gas-fired plant range from $240 Million to $300 Million. Those estimates do not include the costs of upgrading the plant to run on Hydrogen, and it’s doubtful that enough Renewable Natural Gas could be found to operate the new plant without putting more carbon into the atmosphere. The fracked gas plant threatens to saddle rate payers in Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland with high electricity costs far into the future, while putting the PRPA’s goal of 100% non-carbon electricity – originally established for 2030 – out of reach.
The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) believes that there are likely less expensive, more climate-friendly approaches to providing firm, dispatchable power to the four cities served by PRPA than building a new fracked gas plant. We are urging the PRPA to issue an “All-source RFP” for firm, dispatchable capacity that would allow bids for wind, solar, batteries, and other combinations of resources that might better meet our needs.
Please send an e-message to PRPA board members using this “one-click link” asking them to support a resolution calling for an “All-source RFP” at the upcoming PRPA board meeting on December 7th. Please personalize the message if you have the time, and thank you!