Later this year, customers of the municipal electric utility in Aspen, Colorado, will buy a little more wind power from Nebraska and successfully meet its goal of 100% renewable energy in 2015.
Aspen Daily News online reports the utility has reached an agreement with the Municipal Energy Association of Nebraska (MEAN) to increase its purchase of wind-generated electricity and meet its goal of providing electricity produced only from renewable sources for its 6,500 customers.
MEAN has been providing electricity to the upscale Colorado ski community since the early 1980s and now provides about 30 percent of Aspen’s total load. It votes on the expanded contract in August. Between 75% and 80% of the utility’s electricity currently comes from renewable sources, including not only Nebraska wind power but also hydro sources in the West.
The added wind-generated power from Nebraska will cost customers an average of $1.75 a month. It will replace the current 20% of the portfolio that’s generated by coal.
The expanded contract with MEAN runs for three years at a cost of $51 per megawatt hour. During that time, the city will negotiate a longer-term contract.