Colorado Co-ops Recognized for Innovation

Duane Highley

Colorado’s electric cooperatives fared well in the national Power Player of the Year awards with three nominations. The Smart Electric Power Alliance recognizes individuals, utilities and projects that demonstrate leadership and innovation in the industry.

Duane Highley, CEO of co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, was nominated for leading Tri-State through a transformational change to cleaner resources for its member co-ops. The G&T has expanded its amount of renewable resources, reduced emissions and increased flexibility so co-ops can develop more local renewable projects. Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs was nominated for Cooperative Utility Power Player of the Year for its Seventy70Thirty Plan and its goal of attaining a 70% renewable supply by 2030.

The Basalt Vista Affordable Housing Project facilitated by Holy Cross Energy was nominated for Grid Integration Power Player of the Year. This project, developed as a partnership among government agencies, nonprofits, private businesses and Holy Cross, consists of 27 all-electric housing units outfitted with solar panels, energy storage systems, high-efficiency cold-climate heat pumps and electric vehicle charging stations. The homes will act as “microgrids” that can operate independently or be controlled in the aggregate by Holy Cross to coordinate load and generation on the grid.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance is a nonprofit organization that focuses on clean energy and grid modernization.