Colorado Energy Plan offers our state a win(d)-win(d)

Author: Trent Bushner - September 24, 2017 - Updated: September 24, 2017

Trent Bushner

Things move rapidly these days.  Ten years ago the iPhone was released; now they are ubiquitous and the Blackberry has gone the way of the dodo bird.  Heck, 15 years ago I actually had to drive my tractor; now it steers itself perfectly straight across the field!

The cost of generating electricity from wind has dropped so rapidly that it is now the most affordable electricity on the grid.  Plus, it’s in high demand from individual customers to big businesses like Microsoft to whole cities like Denver and Boulder.  There is a clear business decision to be made here.  Adapt to the new technology and give the customer what they want.

This confluence of events, technological advances and market demand provides a unique opportunity for rural Colorado; a chance to earn nearly $3 billion of capital investment along with all the jobs and economic activity that come with it.  I doubt we’ve seen this more than a few times in past five decades.  This combination could be as important to rural Colorado as the center pivot sprinkler and horizontal drilling with staged hydraulic fracturing.

Now it is up to the PUC to do a job that as a county commissioner I understand: Hold the hearings, follow the rules, do the math and — if this “Colorado Energy Plan” proposal by Xcel to add 1000 MW of wind, 700 MW of solar and 700 MW of natural gas generation is really the lowest cost and most demanded electricity — then approve the new resource plan.

The ratepayers of Xcel will benefit and rural Colorado will, too.

Trent Bushner

Trent Bushner

Trent Bushner is a Yuma County commissioner and farmer.