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Denver, Colo., Apr. 27, 2000 - In a ceremony today attended by several hundred Federal government employees, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson announced the largest ever commitment to purchase electricity generated by the wind. Federal government agencies along the Colorado Front Range have committed to the purchase of electricity from 10 megawatts of wind turbines through Public Service Co. of Colorado's Windsource program, and through other local utilities' wind energy programs, over the next several years.
The Denver Federal Executive Board (DFEB), a group composed of the heads of government agencies in the Denver area, organized the purchase by soliciting agencies to participate in the Windsource program. DOE's Golden Field Office, Denver Regional Office and National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the U.S. General Services Administration; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supported DFEB in the effort. Public Service Co. became a partner in the purchase by agreeing to pursue expansion of its wind energy generation facility over the next several years to meet the demand.
Accompanying Richardson in making the announcement was Colorado Rep. Mark Udall, whose district includes many of the agencies participating in the program.
The purchase represents a significant portion of the electricity used by the agencies and is in compliance with Executive Order 13123 issued by President Clinton for greening of the government. The purchase also supports DOE's Wind Powering America goals calling for Federal purchase of wind-generated power and Secretary Richardson's recent DOE-wide commitment to buy green power.
"The increasing use of renewable energy sources such as wind power holds the promise of reducing our nation's reliance on fossil fuels, thus enhancing our national security and protecting the environment," said Secretary Richardson. "Federal agencies in Colorado are setting an example for the rest of the nation and the leaders of business and industry, and state and local governments."
The agencies will pay a small premium for each 100 kilowatt/hours of electricity. To help offset the additional cost, the agencies will work through DOE's Federal Energy Management Program and with Public Service Co. to improve energy efficiency in the agency's facilities and use the savings to purchase the wind power.
"We're delighted to be working with the federal facilities in Colorado to help them meet their commitment to wind energy," said Chuck Fuller, vice president of generation and thermal energy for New Century Energies, Public Service Co.'s parent company. "Colorado has truly taken a leadership role in making wind power a commercial success, demonstrating a bright future and strong market for renewable energy in this country."
Begun in 1997, Public Service Company's Windsource program is the largest, customer-driven wind energy program in the country, with more than 15,000 subscribers. Wind power for the program currently comes from the company's Ponnequin Wind Facility, located in Northern Colorado. The facility has 29 turbines, capable of producing up to 20 megawatts of electricity. Public Service Co. is in the midst of regulatory proceedings with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to determine specific expansion plans for additional wind resources for this federal purchase as well as for other customers.
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