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Colorado-based La Plata Electric Association's (LPEA) board of directors has approved a price reduction for power supplied from renewable resources. As of Jan. 1, 2008, LPEA customers can opt to pay a premium of $0.80 per 100 kWh block, down from $1.25 per 100 kWh block.

The price reduction comes as a result of Tri-State Generation & Transmission's revised renewable energy program. Tri-State will now charge its customers, such as LPEA, daily market prices for what it purchases, which currently is approximately $0.40 for each 100 kWh block. Because the market price fluctuates and LPEA does not want to continually change the rate to its volunteer green power customers, LPEA says its board has opted to add an additional $0.40 to the premium to absorb those market fluctuations, as well as generate funds for local renewable programs and purchase locally produced renewable power.

Tri-State's power is generated from wind farms in Wyoming, plus from some small hydro and biomass.

Initially, the LPEA funds will support rebates for those who install renewable generation, market prices to purchase power from LPEA's net-metered accounts and purchase of local renewable energy certificates (RECs). If LPEA secures more local renewable energy than it needs to meet the new Colorado Statue requirements, LPEA can sell the local RECs to utilities outside LPEA's territory.

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