Message From Your President & CEO
A Letter to Members
It is hard to believe we are already entering the fall season. Summer flew by while your cooperative employees were hard at work on a number of fronts — improving service, working toward an energy future outlined in Our Cooperative Roadmap, and managing the tremendous growth in our communities.
We spent much of the summer finalizing our power supply portfolio — one that will provide members with a mix of traditional and low-carbon power and storage solutions. The break from our current power supplier will allow significant freedom and flexibility, representing the rapidly changing energy industry, in a reasonable time frame, as opposed to waiting until the end of the decade.
We are blessed to have a strong mix of residential, commercial, and industrial members in our small 900-square mile service territory, as well as consistent and significant growth. Our system’s diversity means we are a highly desirable partner for companies wishing to locate here and work with United Power to deploy new and innovative technologies.
The future is not just about adding more generation — although necessary to meet growing demand — but also operating our system differently (and more efficiently) than the past. For example, five years after launching what was Colorado’s largest battery storage facility at the time, we have entered an agreement to deploy nearly 80 additional megawatts of battery storage across our footprint, one of the nation’s first dispersed storage projects. This will allow us to charge the batteries when energy costs are low and reduce the demand on our system during peak hours.
The rise in electric vehicle sales has led to a curious conversation that today’s grid cannot handle the load without massive investments in infrastructure or significant control options. We have among the highest penetrations of EVs and plug-in hybrids in the nation. Here at United Power, we constantly monitor our transformers and energy consumption, proactively managing and improving our system in advance of challenges. Each year, we strategically plan our maintenance to target the worst performing feeders — those lines supporting our members in their neighborhoods — and carefully focus our investments. Your Board of Directors not only supports these activities but works closely with management to ensure we are making the right investments to keep this most critical infrastructure strong.
This is not to say there will never be outages. Sadly, critters, crashes, storms, and lightning wreak havoc on electric grids, no matter how well built. United Power crews work diligently through some of the most terrible conditions to restore power quickly — and safely. The addition of our Carbon Valley Service Center in 2019 has also allowed us to cut down outage response times in our western territory.
We continue to lead the nation in residential solar installations and support members who want to add solar, as well as storage. Last year, the Colorado Solar and Storage Association recognized United Power as a Solar & Storage Champion for its member interconnection process and rooftop solar saturation.
We do caution members to be selective in choosing their solar contractor. Several door-to-door salespeople have been reported using unscrupulous tactics, including lies and fabrications, to sell their services. Be leery of any representative mentioning United Power. Our team is available to provide unbiased information and all the tools you need to make the right decision when it comes to solar. Simply call us at 303-637-1300 or visit Going Solar.
As a United Power member-owner, you have a special relationship with the cooperative. Please feel free to reach out to me personally with any questions or comments. I appreciate the honor to serve you.
Enjoy our beautiful fall weather.