DENVER – Today, the Colorado Senate passed a bill to promote hydroelectricity, a clean energy source that will increase Colorado’s energy independence and improve economic opportunities for the state. Senator Angela Giron, (D-Pueblo), Republican Senator Kevin Grantham and Republican House Representative Keith Swerdfeger have teamed up to sponsor House Bill 1083 to create jobs for Southern Colorado.
Senator Giron offered the following comment on the bill’s Senate passage today:
“This bill will help Pueblo, create clean energy and improve the economy of Southern Colorado. As we face major challenges to our budget and equally great challenges to our national energy future hydroelectric energy is something we need to pursue. This bill will help us do that.”
HB11-1083 allows public utility commissions to give full consideration to pumped hydroelectricity when looking at generation acquisitions for electric utilities. Pumped hydroelectricity is the process of allowing water from an upper reservoir to be carried by the weight of gravity through turbines that transform the energy created as it moves to a lower reservoir. This energy is then transmitted to the electric grid and the water is pumped back to the upper reservoir.
At least one project is currently being considered for Southern Colorado. Energy giant TransCanada is looking to develop a 482 megawatt (mW) hydroelectric pumpback facility in Penrose, west of Pueblo. This project is expected to have an $800 million budget and to create 300 construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs.
HB 1083 now goes to the House for further consideration.