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DER strategy committee seeks public input

Released on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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News release from Platte River Power Authority - Sept. 29, 2020

Platte River Power Authority and its owner communities have formed a distributed energy resources (DER) strategy committee and are seeking public input to help create a roadmap for successful DER integration. The committee’s work is another step necessary to achieve noncarbon energy goals.

DERs are physical or virtual devices or systems that can be deployed on the electric distribution system or on customer premises that can be used to provide value to all customers through electric system optimization and/or individual customer benefits. DERs include distributed solar and batteries, electric vehicles and energy efficiency. Platte River’s board-adopted Resource Diversification Policy, which calls for a 100% noncarbon energy mix by 2030, highlights the importance of DER technologies and of developing a coordinated approach to integrating DERs.

Representatives of Estes Park Power & Communications, Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont Power & Communications, Loveland Water and Power and Platte River comprise the strategy committee, with guidance and facilitation provided by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), an organization that helps electric utilities with strategies and programs to decarbonize and implement and deploy distributed resources. Citizens of Platte River’s owner communities will have opportunities to engage with the planning process through public listening sessions and other feedback mechanisms.

“Feedback from the Platte River owner communities and stakeholders is a key part of our strategy development,” said Tim McCollough, committee co-chair and deputy director of light & power for the City of Fort Collins. “We are committed to an open dialog as we navigate forward on our path to achieve our community and organizational goals.”

The committee recently launched a DER website at prpa.org/der to host information about the committee’s activities and actions and provide key details for the public as the strategy is developed. The committee is currently seeking public participation in a survey to collect opinions on a variety of DER topics, including electric vehicle charging, rooftop solar, energy storage and more. Interested participants can access the survey at prpa.org/der and complete it by Oct. 16, 2020.

“As a committee, we take seriously our role to develop a plan that not only drives successful integration of DER technologies but also engages community members to be part of the solution,” said Dave Hornbacher, committee co-chair and executive director of electric services for the City of Longmont. “Engagement begins with education and we’re pleased with the interest we’ve received from the public so far about what we’re doing and how they can help.”

Owner community members can sign up to receive updates from the DER strategy committee regarding key milestones and additional opportunities for public feedback at prpa.org/der. The committee plans to have a draft strategy report developed by the middle of 2021.

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Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado for delivery to their utility customers. For more information, visit prpa.org.