United States

United States

Colorado demand triples Windsource

Growing demand for clean power is driving Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) to nearly triple its installed wind capacity with an additional 36 MW. When all is built within five years, the company will have 56 MW of wind power under current plans. At the same time, the utility is proposing to increase the premium of its Windsource product.

"The green pricing program has been very successful so far," says Andy Sulkko of PSCo. "We are getting more and more interest from commercial and industrial customers, plus federal agencies have committed to purchase up to ten megawatts of wind energy." He points out that the nearly 15,000 residential customers, as well as students from the University of Colorado, are a good indication of the real strength of the product. Much of the commercial and industrial participation is due to door-to-door marketing efforts.

PSCo has meanwhile filed a request with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to increase the monthly premium new subscribers would pay for Windsource. Continuing participants would continue to pay $2.50 for a 100 kWh block, while new subscribers could pay up to $3.50/100 kWh. Sulkko explains that a grant from the US Department of Energy allowed PSCo to offer a lower price for Windsource in 1997 when it was first launched.

PSCo will own 10 MW of the new plant, which will consist of 15 wind turbines from Danish Vestas. These will be built at PSCo's Ponnequin wind farm in northern Colorado, joining 29 NEG Micon wind turbines already generating 20 MW, also from Denmark. PSCo expects to put about 4 MW on-line this autumn and 6 MW in the spring. The other 26 MW will be built by enXco at Peetz, west of the Colorado/Nebraska state line. Power will be bought from enXco, then resold to customers through Windsource.

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