2017 CO2 EMISSION REPORT
HCE has long term power supply commitments through contracts with Public Service Company of Colorado (a subsidiary of Xcel Energy) and Western Area Power Administration. We have long term purchase power agreements with a number of small, clean and renewable generators located in and near our service territory, including 6 small hydroelectric generators, 3 small commercial solar arrays, a 12 MW biomass plant, and 4 community owned solar arrays.
In 2018, we also made short term economy purchases from Black Hills Power and Xcel Energy. The short-term purchases from Xcel significantly increased the share of our members loads served with wind resources in 2017. Another 145 kW solar array provided bill credits to low and moderate income HCE members at no cost to participants. HCE owns an 8% share in Unit 3 at the Comanche Generating Station located in Pueblo, CO. This 750 MW super-critical, coal-fired generating unit became operational in July of 2010 and provided approximately 34% of HCE’s energy needs in 2017.
About 39% of the energy used to meet member load was supplied through clean and renewable resources, such as wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and coal mine methane generation. About 53% came from coal, 6% came from gas, and about 2% was from market sources which could not be identified with a high level of certainty.
Emissions & Renewable Energy
HCE procured 1,214,899 MWh of wholesale and generated power (including estimated generation from net meters) and billed for 1,166,454 MWh to serve consumers’ loads. The difference includes transmission and distribution line losses, electricity used in company facilities, and electricity provided to net metered customers that was offset under that billing mechanism. The CO2 emissions associated with electric power generation used to serve HCE’s customers in 2017 totaled approximately 678,000 short tons. Emissions decreased by 13.3% from 2016 and sales decreased by 2.0%. Emissions were about 29.0% lower than when tracking began in 2005 while sales were 13.2% higher. After accounting for line losses and the sales which have no associated emissions (under voluntary green pricing programs), the average CO2 intensity for delivered electricity during 2017 was 1.18 lb. per kWh.
HCE offers a voluntary program to support renewable energy generation in Colorado under which HCE members may select their fuel source: Colorado wind, local hydro, and local solar. 13,848 MWh was purchased by 1,554 HCE members in 2017. In addition, HCE’s members had installed 974 small renewable energy generators (such as solar panels) behind their meters by the end of 2017. The 7,687 kW of distributed generation produced about 9,677 MWh during the calendar year.
Total Co2 Emissions
Colorado passed a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in 2004 by voter initiative that required Investor Owned Utilities to supply 10% of their retail electric sales from renewable sources by 2020. In 2007, House Bill 1281 added a requirement that electric cooperatives supply 10% of retail sales from renewable sources by 2020, with the required percentages increasing over time. HCE was required to supply 6% of retail sales from renewable sources in 2017, or the equivalent of 69,988 MWh. 397,943 MWh (nearly 33%) of HCE power supply came from sources which qualify for the Colorado RES in 2017, excluding renewable sales to customers under the voluntary pricing programs. Renewable Energy Credits equal to those sales are retired on an annual basis and not used for any other purpose.