‘Wind Energy Day’ for Colorado

Colorado’s Governor Bill Owens proclaimed May 14, 2004, as “Colorado Wind Energy Day,” to commemorate the grand opening of the Colorado Green windfarm, in Prowers County, and to recognize the role and contributions of wind energy in Colorado. This however, comes despite the recent failure of a bill in the state’s legislature that would have helped propel wind power, and other renewable energy projects throughout the state.

Denver, Colorado – May 14, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Colorado Green, which will be dedicated in a ceremony in Lamar, is a 162-megawatt windfarm. It is the fifth-largest windfarm in the nation, and alone will supply power to over 75,000 homes. Colorado, with a total of 223 megawatts of wind power, serving nearly 103,000 households, is now the eighth largest producer of wind in the nation. Colorado receives more than just power from wind energy. Wind energy development offers much needed economic and income opportunities to rural and agricultural areas. Additionally, wind energy helps consumers and businesses fight rising energy costs, while increasing energy security. “Affordable, reliable power is essential to consumers and businesses in Colorado. The Colorado Green windfarm is an example of how Colorado uses its abundant natural resources to provide power to its citizens,” said Governor Owens. The Governor said Coloradans are long time supporters of wind energy. Colorado has one of the country’s most successful voluntary “green pricing” programs. Through the state’s various investor-owned, municipal and rural electric utilities, more than 40,000 consumers and businesses statewide receive wind power. The legislature on the other hand, wasn’t supportive enough of renewable energy to pass legislation requiring the state’s utilities to source a small percentage of their power from renewable energy sources. Known generally as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), this type of legislation has greatly helped push along development of renewable energy projects in many other states. Just a week ago, the legislature voted down for the second time, an bill which would have made a RPS law for the state. Despite that recent shortcoming, Colorado is ranked 11th in the nation for wind energy resources, making it a natural location for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden which employs over 1,000 people. NREL is the world’s leading laboratory in the research, development, and demonstration of wind energy technologies. The Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC) supports wind through education and outreach programs. OEMC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently hosted the second biennial “Colorado Wind and Distributed Energy Conference.” Over 300 attendees learned about wind energy development from national and regional experts. OEMC has a wind anemometer loan program, created to help land developers assess wind energy feasibility. Also, OEMC and DOE released a Colorado Wind Map, providing assistance in locating likely placement of wind turbines for small and medium-sized developments.
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