Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Colorado
Four months after saying his "New Energy Economy" was more than a campaign promise, Gov. Bill Ritter will sign a half-dozen measures this week encouraging Coloradans to make more renewable energy and consume less fuel overall. On Tuesday, Ritter signed a bill that rewards utilities for promoting energy conservation. It was vetoed twice by his predecessor, GOP Gov. Bill Owens. Today, Ritter plans to sign measures to promote recycling and biofuels development, encourage construction of transmission lines from solar and wind farms and provide tax credits for renewable energy.
LOGAN COUNTY - This county will have more tax revenue - about $2.3 million each year - after the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center is completed and placed on the tax rolls. The assessed valuation of the $700 million project will increase revenues for Logan County and also for the Peetz Plateau School District. To put it in perspective, the $2.3 million the county will receive equals an 8.8 percent addition to its current annual budget of $26 million. Over the next 30 years, this will total about $70 million. In addition, FPL is paying Logan County a one-time payment of $4.16 million in lieu of building permit fees and use taxes.
VAIL - Buying wind credits gives peace of mind to us environmental sinners in the High Country, but are they worth much else? There's been some serious back-patting going on ever since Vail Resorts and the area towns like Frisco and Vail decided to offset 100 percent of their electricity use with clean, emission-free power produced by wind farmers. It's the first thing you see on the Vail Resorts website and has made some towns leaders in this rapidly growing trend of "neutralizing" environmental impacts by investing in renewable energy. Some people, though, question the world-saving value of purchasing wind offsets, fearing they're being used in lieu of actually decreasing energy use or fearing the offsets themselves are shady buys. They are certainly in vogue in the Fortune 500 world, but how much do they help the environment beyond clearing your conscience?
So why is this higher mandate likely to hike your bills? Because when government creates an artificial market by fiat, shortages almost always follow (of turbines for wind power, for example), thus boosting the mandate’s cost. For that matter, if all forms of renewable energy could compete on their own, they wouldn’t need a mandate in the first place.
Want wind power? Just walk to the nearest Whole Foods and buy a Wind Power card. Whole Foods, one of the nation’s largest wind power purchasers, will sell wind power cards beginning today. The cards, priced at $5 and $15, will be issued by Renewable Choice Energy, the same Boulder company that sells wind power to Whole Foods. “This represents a brand new step in allowing a point of entry for any residential customer around the country to start getting used to renewable energy,” said Renewable Choice CEO Quayle Hodek. For $15, a customer can buy a wind power card worth 750 kilowatt hours - enough to power an average home for a month. For $5, a customer can buy a card for 250 kilowatt hours.
Colorado utility regulators are proposing to abolish Xcel Energy’s popular Windsource voluntary wind-energy program and instead have all ratepayers cover the slightly higher costs of the program. The staff of the Public Utilities Commission said in a filing that it no longer makes sense to charge a premium price for “green” power. The staff proposal says that spreading the Windsource costs among all ratepayers would create a “negligible” increase in rates, a small fraction of 1 percent. Customers who buy all their power from Windsource now pay an average of $58.55 a month, not including taxes and franchise fees. Typical customers using conventional power pay $52.58 a month.
Wind farms in Kansas, Nebraska and California will play a role in Colorado Springs Utilities’ compliance with a voter-approved mandate on renewable energy. But homes and businesses in Colorado Springs won’t be getting electricity produced by harnessing wind in those places. Instead, renewable energy credits will be logged into Colorado Springs Utilities’ books.
DENVER (AP) - Xcel Energy has announced plans for two more wind farms in Colorado to help it comply with a voter-approved initiative requiring it to obtain ten percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.
Wind-minded companies such as the resort negotiate their own deals, getting discounts along the way.
Quayle Hodek is sitting on a gold mine of green power. He is the keeper of valuable "wind energy credits" for customers who want the electricity powering their homes and businesses to come from wind farms sprinkled across the nation.
Vail Resorts will not install wind turbines atop its slopes or use direct wind energy to power its chair lifts. Instead, it will purchase from Boulder-based Renewable Choice Energy renewable-energy credits equal to the amount of electricity it uses.
The increase is necessary because the Windsource program was designed for customers who want to pay premium rates in order to promote green energy, Stutz said.
The governor also notified lawmakers Monday he was letting a bill aimed at boosting wind-energy production in Colorado become law without his signature. House Bill 1275, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, changes the method of taxing wind farms from a business tax based on the value of equipment that depreciates over time to a production tax that levelizes the revenue stream to counties over a 20-year period.
DENVER - A bill changing the method of taxing wind turbines in an attempt to lure more windfarm companies to northeastern Colorado is expected to reach the governor's desk in the next few days.
Prowers County Assessor, Andy Wyatt, got an unpleasant surprise on Thursday, March 30, when he read the Pueblo Chieftain story headlined, "Lawmaker challenges wind farm legislation." According to the story, an amendment tacked onto House Bill 1275, "at the behest of Prowers County Assessor Andy Wyatt" would potentially make the bill unconstitutional.
DENVER -- Concerns about the constitutionality of a bill aimed at luring wind farms to northeast Colorado forced Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, to postpone a final Senate vote Thursday.
DENVER - A Grand Junction lawmaker is raising constitutionality questions about a bill that would change the way wind farms are taxed because it includes an exemption for existing ones.
DENVER - The House passed and sent to the Senate a bill that attempts to lure more wind farms to northeastern Colorado. The vote was 54-9 earlier this week.
Two bills key to Colorado's economic development continued to move through the House of Representatives on March 15, according to the Legislature.
DENVER -- The state property tax administrator annually would determine the amount of a production tax to be paid by new wind farms under a bill that won unanimous approval Thursday in the Colorado House Finance Committee.