Last updated 7:46AM ET
December 13, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Group Encouraging LPEA To Go Greener!
(2007-07-05)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: La Plata Electric Association, which provides power to an estimated 30-thousand customers in Southwest Colorado, is going to get extra encouragement to go green.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: The coalition being formed in LPEA's service area is comprised of local businesses, individuals and other groups.
Josh Joswick, of the San Juan Citizen's Alliance is one of those behind the group, which is urging LPEA to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy use, and encourage and use more renewable energy.
JOSWICK: I THINK WE'RE PRETTY FORTUNATE DOWN HERE TO BE WORKING WITH LPEA, BECAUSE OVER THE YEARS THEY HAVE BEEN APPROACHED ABOUT DOING THESE PROGRAMS, AND HAVE DONE SOME OF THEM, SO WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO MORE.
Among other things, the coalition wants LPEA to dedicate 2-percent of revenues toward energy efficiency programs, reduce power use by 10% by 2020, and encourage use of renewable energy.
Mark Schwantes is director of corporate services and planning at LPEA.
He says they welcome the groups input.
SCHWANTES: OUR SURVEYS AND OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH DIFFERENT GROUPS AND DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS IS LETTING US KNOW IT'S VERY IMPORTANT WE LOOK AT GREEN POWER, ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY AS SOMETHING THAT LAPLATA ELECTRIC SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN. I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP, WE'VE ACTUALLY WORKED WITH SOME OF THE PEOPLE THAT I THINK ARE INVOLVED WITH THIS GROUP. SOUTHWEST CRES WE'VE BEEN WORKING WITH FOR MANY YEARS AND THE SAN JUAN CITIZENS ALLIANCE AS WELL, WITH HELPING US DEVELOP SOME OF THE PROGRAMS THAT OUR BOARD HAS PUT IN PLACE.
The whole idea behind the push is reduce LPEA's carbon footprint and create a clean energy market.
LPEA, and 43 other coops buy power from Tri-State Generation and Transmission.
Tri-State's recent plans to construct three new coal fired power plants drew criticism from groups like the San Juan Citizen's Alliance.
Tri-State's temporarily shelved plans for two of the proposed plants.
Joswick says action by LPEA and Tri-State's 43 other members can impact planning for the third plant.
JOSWICK: IF WE CAN DO AS MUCH AS WE CAN ON THE LOCAL LEVEL WITHIN EACH OF THE 44 MEMBERS OF TRI-STATE, PERHAPS THAT COULD THEN INDICATE TO THEM THAT THEY DON'T NECESSARILY NEED TO BUILD THE PLANTS, THE PLANT THAT THEY'RE PLANNING ON BUILDING.
LPEA's Schwantes says it may not be entirely possible to avoid the need for new coal plants.
SCHWANTES: i think that WITH THE GROWTH WE ARE SEEING IN OUR REGION, WE'RE GOING TO IN THE NEAR TERM SEE SOME COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS BEING INSTALLED IN OUR REGION TO TAKE CARE OF THE NEAR TERM LOAD GROWTH THAT WE'RE SEEING, BUT I KNOW THAT TRI STATE AND OUR BOARD IS CONTINUING TO LET TRI STATE KNOW THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE LOOK AT CONSERVATION TO TRY AND DEFER SOME OF THESE PLANTS OR PUSH THEM FURTHER OUT INTO THE FUTURE, WHEN NEW TECHNOLOGY MIGHT BE AVAILABLE.
Anyone interested in joining the coalition can contact the San Juan Citizen's Alliance.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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