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Support for wind power in Colorado is brewing

Posted by Eleanor Fort at Dec 11, 2012 03:00 AM |
Jenn Vervier, Director of Sustainability and Strategic Projects at New Belgium, recently published an op-ed in urging Congress to extend the wind Production Tax Credit.
by Eleanor Fort, Associate, Policy Program Ceres Posted on Dec 11, 2012

Businesses that focus on sustainability have a real stake in the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) which is about to expire in Congress. BICEP has been working to engage companies to support and advocate for passage of the PTC. For the past decade, New Belgium Brewing Company, one of our BICEP members, has purchased 100 percent of their grid power from wind sources. Extending the PTC for wind power would both boost local economies and help keep the cost of renewable electricity low for companies across the United States.

Jenn Vervier, Director of Sustainability and Strategic Projects at New Belgium, recently published this op-ed in the Denver Post urging Congress to extend the wind Production Tax Credit. Here’s an excerpt:

Drive north from New Belgium Brewing’s headquarters in Fort Collins, and you’ll run into Ponnequin Wind Farm, where 44 turbines churn out power for the Colorado grid. Drive south, and you’ll find a factory owned by Vestas, the company that built many of those very same turbines. The evidence is all around us: Colorado is a wind power leader.

The state generates about 17 percent of its electricity from wind, and more than 5,000 Coloradans are employed in the wind power sector. At New Belgium Brewing, we believe that good business should also be good for the environment. That’s why we include renewable power in our energy portfolio, and we support our neighbors working in the wind power industry.

We want to see wind power prosper, but if you have been following recent headlines, you’ll know that it hasn’t been easy. The wind industry has shed thousands of jobs, including at least 500 in Colorado. Manufacturers like Vestas are closing down plants and research facilities, and they’re citing policy uncertainty as the culprit.

This is bad news for Colorado’s workforce and businesses like ours that want to buy more clean energy. The good news is that if Congress acts quickly, it can avoid further layoffs. All it takes is extending the Production Tax Credit.

It’s great to see companies that are vocal on supporting the renewable energy that runs their businesses.

Read the full op-ed in the Denver Post.