ORIGINAL REPORTING: Utilities Moving To New Energy
Independence Day: Local utilities ditch power suppliers for renewables, stable prices; A muni and a co-op in New Mexico are the latest utilities to cut ties with their generation supplier in search of more clean energy
Herman K. Trabish, August 1, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The move by utilities toward New Energy has continued to accelerate since this story ran.
In the beginning, residential and small business customers started demanding more energy options, forcing utilities to respond. The most prominent examples were the proliferation of rooftop solar in Hawaii, Arizona and other states with high solar potential. Customers are now driving utilities to come up with ways to answer their demand for distributed generation while preserving their revenue streams. Investor-owned utilities have also begun facing similar demand from major corporate customers, such as the Utility-Corporate Buyer Collaborative Forum, forcing the utilities to come up with renewable energy rider programs to satisfy their key accounts.
Now, some smaller cooperative and municipal utilities are beginning to demand a cleaner power mix from their generation suppliers. New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), for instance, recently completed a settlement to end its contract with the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and begin sourcing its power from Guzman Renewable Energy Partners. The Tri-State contract capped KCEC’s renewables usage at 5%, Kit Carson CEO Luis Reyes said, which clashed with a community-wide demand for more solar. Before Kit Carson’s move. the City of Aztec, New Mexico, became Guzman’s first utility customer after its municipal utility’s contract with the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) expired. The two important features of the Guzman offer to Aztec were the lower electricity price and the option to use more renewable power… click here for more
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