Through 2017 SDCE paid producers of electricity via solar panels at their homes .07/KW to .08/KW. Starting in 2018, the reimbursement has been reduced to .-25/KW.
Conclusion: This seems to be reduced incentive for clean energy production at a private level
A brief technical overview of the geothermal resources available in the Chaffee County region. It then suggests a variety of direct use applications of geothermal energy that may be appropriate for economic development in the Buena Vista area.
In June 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a two-part decision in which they determined (1) that Tri-State Power and Generation obligation to purchase power from Qualified Facilities (QF) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURRA) supersedes any power purchase supply agreement they may currently have with a wholesale power provider, and (2) that Tri-Sate cannot impose cost recovery mechanisms on users that would, in effect, limit members utilities like Sangre De Cristo REA's ability to procure power at negotiated rates. This ruling obviates Tri-State's current agreement with Sangre De Cristo to purchase 95% of their power from Tri-State, further invalidating the requirement that Sangre De Cristo purchase no more than 5% from outside purchases. It also means that Tri-State cannot charge users any additional fees for losses they may sustain from buying electricity from a QF at prices lower than that previously contracted for under typical 50-year long term supply contracts between Sangre De Cristo and Tri-State.
This report represents estimates of the economic and environmental impacts of a proposed 10 megawatt geothermal electricity generation facility southwest of Buena Vista, Colo. A plant this size could fulfill the 3-county service area of Sangre De Cristo REA. This would be the first geothermal power plant in Colorado, following similarly successful operations in New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, California and Idaho.
This is a recently published document that provides information on the results of GOCO and CTF investments in Colorado.
It discusses how the programs support high-quality parks, trails, rivers, open spaces, recreation amenities, and wildlife, and the array of economic benefits these investments provide to local communities.
Residents in Chaffee County served by Sangre de Cristo Electric Association can expect to see their electric rates to continue to be high. The Association is under contract to Tri State Generating to provide power was well as transmission lines to theSDCEA service area. The SDCEA has very limited ability to add renewable power generated by rooftop solar or wind under the TriState contract. The contract runs until 2050.
TriState is known for it's capricious and arbitrary rate increases to it's customers. SDCEA has experienced such rate increases. Also, since Chaffee County is such a small portion of TriStates business, there is little to no possibility, or even desire, to negotiate a better rate. Because TriState provides power as well as transmission lines and there are essentially no other options, SDCEA is hamstrung in it's negotiations with TriState. Chaffee County's geography is like an island with few options.
The reason that the Association's rates are among the highest of any customers of Tri State is because of the rural nature of the service area, low density of customers as well as low overall number of customers. TriState simply must make a certain profit and have certain conditions in it's contracts in order to obtain financing to build and maintain its generating facilities.
One of these conditions of Sangre's contract with TriState limits to 5% the amount of renewable power that can be added to the power grid in Chaffee County. The Sangre de Cristo Electric association is prevented from expanding it's renewable energy portfolio by it's contract with Tri State Energy. The renewable project south of BV will almost totally max out the 5% allowed by the contract and limit SDCEA's ability to put online much more residentially generated renewable power.
The Smart Growth Self-Assessment for Rural Communities is a compilation of strategies, organized by 11 common “goal areas,” that villages, towns, and small cities can use to evaluate their existing policies to create healthy, environmentally resilient, and economically robust places. This self-assessment was developed as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) project in Madison County, New York. For more information about the project, see Smart Growth Self-Assessment for Rural Communities: Madison County, New York, available at: http://www2.epa.gov/smart-growth/smart-growth-self-assessment-rural-communities-madison-county.
Small Towns, Big Ideas is the result of an intensive, yearlong effort to identify and document
the stories of small towns that are surviving – and, in some cases, thriving – as
hubs of civic and economic activity. This publication includes stories about planning
and implementing economic development strategies in 45 small towns with populations
of fewer than 10,000 residents. Half of the towns featured are from North Carolina,
and half are from other states. This collection of case studies is a response to the
demand from civic leaders in North Carolina for real stories, from real places that are
confronting real challenges similar to those facing small communities everywhere.
Stories are told in a narrative format and are intended to provide concrete ideas, inspiration
and hope to civic leaders working in small communities and to policy makers
dealing with rural development issues. The lessons section draws a series of conclusions,
from across all the case studies, about economic development in small communities.
For those not aware of the Housing Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC), this summary of the last meeting in January helps paint a picture of the breadth of issues the HPAC is tackling.
Anyone interested in participating should contact Read McCulloch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-239-1199
Jackson / Teton County developed this housing supply plan including housing goals, projects (current and future), timelines, etc.
This is a good example of what could be produced for Chaffee as part of the Envision process.
The title of this document speaks for itself: Rural Transportation Planning Guidebook.
This document was assembled by professional transportation planners and university professors from one of the ten University Transportation Institutes in the United States, specifically from West Texas A & M University.
Sorry, but it's another document for geeks, but it is more up to date and less geeky than the Federal document uploaded previously.
Taos NM, Kit Carson Electric Co op, Could not produce more then 5% of it's electricity from locally sourced renewable power under terms of it's contract with Tri State Generating. In partnership with Guzman Renewable Energy Partners that has changed. The co-op will now be able to fulfill it's commitment to produce 100% of it's power from renewables in the summer.
The Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations jointly prepared this document as a guide for development of transportation plans in rural areas of the country.
Right up front, you should know that this document is for transportation geeks--apologies to everyone else! It provides a comprehensive discussion of what elements should be considered in planning for transportation in rural areas, along with resources for finding and developing information for our own plans.
Key to this document is a discussion on how to develop funding and financing plans to achieve Chaffee County's transportation goals.
The document is a bit out of date with references to Federal programs that have been replaced. However, the vast majority of the topics indeed DO apply to us.
Apologies, again, for the geek-factor!
The Rio Blanco County Master Plan is the County's Comprehensive Plan, laying out the County's core values, guiding principles, and its priorities for the future. It is similar to Chaffee County in that it is a rural county with 2 main population centers with nearly 20% of its land use designated for agriculture and approximately 75% of its land use designated as public lands. In addition, agriculture, tourism and retail are important segments of the County's economy.
The plan covers issues such as agriculture, residential, commercial and industrial land uses, resource and open space protection, as well as infrastructure and capital improvements. There is also a pretty cool section on History/Heritage of Rio Blanco.
The Transportation section beginning on page 69 of the document covers roads, bicycle and pedestrian (trails) facilities, transit and public transportation, railroads, airports and scenic byways. (Telecommunications is handled in the Public Services and Facilities section.)
While this is a long document, the chapters of the document for Transportation are applicable to Chaffee County. Others in this network may be equally interested in the Housing, Economic Development and Public Services and Facilities portions of the document.
Of significance, the plan provides for implementation measures to help Rio Blanco get where it wants to be in the future.
As part of identifying what the community values during Phase I of the Envision Chaffee County initiative, the Envision Team conducted short interviews (five questions) with a broad range of local residents to discuss one-on-one their vision for Chaffee County’s future, and garner their feedback on the draft results statements created by the Envision Team during the group’s first meeting in early October. A total of 95 people were interviewed. This report complements the Community Survey Report.
Everyone who participated in the first Envision Team meeting was invited to interview community members. The result was a diverse set of conversations with people who participate in the Chaffee County community a variety of ways, including: Buena Vista and Salida school administrators and teachers; business owners; bankers; realtors; ranchers; public officials; pastors; outdoor enthusiasts; retirees; high school students; seasonal workers; parents; teachers; foresters; and more. Coverage by zip code area and age bracket was representative of Chaffee County’s composition.
Published: November 7, 2017
As part of identifying what the community values during Phase I of the Envision Chaffee County initiative, the Envision Team conducted a survey designed to gather input from a representative sample of the County’s population. Community engagement in the Envision survey was excellent, with 1,203 total respondents – more than a quarter of whom asked to stay involved in the project.
The demographic summary of survey participants shows a strongly representative sampling of Chaffee County citizens. Coverage by zip code area, age bracket and work force participation is highly representative of County composition. Coverage of all income ranges is also high, but with somewhat of an under-representation of lower incomes and over-representation of higher income ranges. This potential bias was addressed by testing results for each survey question by income range and reporting any significant differences. A broad range of different lengths of county residency was also sampled, even though no county-wide data were available for comparison.
In summary, the Envision community survey is representative; it provides very clear and quantitative information about what the county’s residents value most and what concerns them as they consider the County’s growth. This report complements the Community Interview Report.
Published: November 6, 2017
As part of Phase I of the Envision Chaffee County initiative, the community defined what is most valued in Chaffee County and then developed four vision statements describing the future citizens want to see. The community then defined measures to show how we are doing relative to these Community Visions. These measures are the basis of our report card. This report card is a first for our community – a data-centric “grading” that shows how we are progressing relative to the vision citizens have for the future. This report card shows some areas to celebrate, and many areas that require new approaches and planning, to create a future where the community’s vision becomes reality.
Published: January 15, 2018