Wind Turbines Order to Bring Colo. Factories Online By Carl Levesque (AWEA)

The 1.8-MW wind turbines will be delivered in early 2011, with commissioning for the 145-MW wind power project expected by the end of that year. The order includes a two-year service and maintenance agreement.

Vestas spokesman Peter Kruse told the Denver Business Journal that “everything you can see from the outside will be made in Colorado.” A Colorado blade manufacturing facility went online in 2008, and a tower plant is set to come online later this year. Nacelle assembly also will be performed in the state.

Colorado has successfully lured hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from Vestas and other renewable energy companies, thanks in large part to its renewable electricity standard, which the state just increased from 20% by 2020 to 30% by 2020.

By Carl Levesque, AWEA,

Colorado adopts 30% clean energy target By James Cartledge

Colorado has adopted a tougher Renewable Energy Standard this week, requiring 30% of its electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2020.

The Standard will require at least 3% of that power to come from solar projects.

Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 10-1001 Bill into law, saying the new standard would create “thousands” of new jobs and 100,000 new solar rooftops over the next decade.

“Today we continue to chart a new course for Colorado’s New Energy Economy and America’s clean energy economy,” Gov. Ritter said, signing the bill at SolSource, Inc., a Denver-based solar installation company.

“Colorado is giving every state and the entire nation a template for tomorrow. This is a game-changer. We are transforming the future of Colorado and our country.”

The new 30% renewable energy goal follows on from Colorado’s 10% by 2015 target, as adopted in 2004, and takes over from a 20% by 2020 target set in 2007.

Some 29 states now have similar Renewable Electricity Standards, with Colorado’s 30% among the highest targets set. Only California, with a 33% target, is currently aiming for more renewable power.

State Senator Gail Schwartz, one of the sponsors of HB 1001, said: “This bill will attract hundreds of companies, create thousands of jobs, and ensure these are the kind of companies and the kind of jobs that will build Colorado’s economy for years to come.”

Another of the Bill’s sponsors, Sen Bruce Whitehead, added: “We have attracted over 230 solar companies to our state already, and passing HB 1001 to increase our renewable energy standards will only continue this trend.”

The Bill

The new Bill confirms that energy will have to come from renewable or recycled energy sources to count towards the Standard. Recovered heat and energy-from-waste will count, but nuclear power will not.

Utilities would have to increase the proportion of electricity sourced from renewable projects from 3% in 2007 to 5% for the period 2008-2010, then requirements increase to 12% from 2011 to 2014, up to 20% for 2015 through 2019, then 30% in the years following.

Power suppliers will also have to provide a growing proportion of power from distributed generation systems – small-scale renewable projects – under the Bill. This rises from 0.5% of retail sales in 2010 up to 2% from 2011 to 2014, 3% from 2015 through 2019 and 3.5% from 2020.

For the purposes of the Bill, these DG systems will be restricted to those that provide no more than 120% of the power needs of the customer site at which they are based.

This is a game-changer. We are transforming the future of Colorado and our country” – Governor Bill Ritter

Companies will have the incentive to develop utility-scale renewable energy plants within Colorado itself, by being allowed to count an extra 250 watts of energy towards the Standard for every kilowatt generated in utility-scale plants located inside state boundaries.

The Bill also seeks to set up a rebate program that would provide financial incentives for renewable equipment below 100 kW in scale. The rebates would be around $2 for every watt a utility customer produces above their requirements.

“Step forward”

Jeff Scott, founder and president of the solar installers SolSource Inc., said House Bill 1001 was a “significant step forward” for solar and wind companies in Colorado.

He said: “We are very proud to operate a solar energy business in Colorado, a state that is known for its abundant natural resources and talented workforce. We will be training and employing 20 to 30 new people in the next 30 days and see today’s signing by Gov. Ritter as a commitment to supporting Colorado clean tech jobs.”

By James Cartledge,