• Renewable Energy Generation meeting set for Feb. 3


    LPEA Quarterly Renewable Energy Generation meeting set for Feb. 3

    Latest in Information Series to focus on renewable energy funding options

    DURANGO, Colo. – La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) will continue its “Free” Information Series with the quarterly Renewable Energy Generation meeting, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, 8:30-9:30 a.m., in the multi-purpose room at LPEA’s Bodo Park headquarters (45 Stewart Street), Durango.

    Featured presenter is Joani Matranga, western region representative for the Governor’s Energy Office. Discussions will cover rebate information and other funding sources available to residents or businesses considering installation of renewable energy generation. Not limited to solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal, renewable energy generation includes geo-thermal, small hydro, bio-mass and wind. Professional installers and tradesmen, as well as interested home and business owners, are invited to attend.

    “The funding opportunities available to those who wish to install renewable generation continue to evolve,” said Sue Maxwell, LPEA project specialist. “LPEA now has a revised program for purchasing renewable energy credits from our local renewable generators up front, helping mitigate the high initial costs. There are also opportunities with the Governor’s Energy Office and the USDA, plus tax credits. We want to continue to try to diffuse the mystery of all this and help our members who want to install renewable energy do so most cost effectively.”

    LPEA members who install renewable generation are also “net metered,” in other words, their electric meter can spin backwards when electricity production is greater than their use at the location. If a net metered account has generated more electricity than the location has consumed within a calendar year, LPEA pays for that extra power, currently $0.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), thereby offering potentially an on-going financial benefit to the renewable generator for years to come.

    “But remember too that when our members install renewable generation and offset their electricity usage, they actually are generating electricity at full retail value, which for residential systems is $0.104 per kWh,” added Maxwell. “That’s $0.104 per kWh that they’re not paying to LPEA.”

    With large producers of renewable energy, LPEA can also enter into a Power Purchase Agreement, and LPEA already has these types of agreements in place with entities such as Williams (steam recapture) and Lemon Reservoir (micro-hydro). These larger producers are connected to the grid but are not net metered. The actual price per kWh is negotiated in the Power Purchase Agreement.

    In all cases, LPEA offers additional funds up front through purchase of the generators’ renewable energy credits, or RECs, which help meet the cooperative’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, or the clean energy mandates from the state government.

    “With everything that is available, when all is taken into consideration, that up-front cost to install any type of renewable generation has come way down, helping LPEA’s members enjoy a more reasonable return on investment,” added Mark Schwantes, manager of corporate services. “The financial incentives are all in place and available. We are encouraging our members to learn more about the opportunities if they are investigating installation of a renewable system.”

    LPEA’s quarterly Renewable Energy Generation meetings were established in February 2010 in response to the growing interest in local renewable projects. The program expanded to a regular, broader-based Free Information Series at the cooperative. To learn about future events, visit www.lpea.coop, or request email alerts via Constant Contact (sign up at www.lpea.coop).

    Reservations for the Renewable Energy Generation meeting are not required, but appreciated, as refreshments will be served. For further information, or to RSVP, contact Sue Maxwell directly at 970.382.7170 or smaxwell@lpea.coop.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 40,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786.

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