Saguache County Commissioners urge SLVREC to make most of IRA
Dear SLVREC Board Members and General Manager,
We are writing to you as a Saguache County Commissioners, and as a San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative member, to encourage you to make the most of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA.) The IRA offers great opportunities for Rural Electric Cooperatives (REAs), giving you access to direct money for low-cost, clean energy that will help lower costs for SLVREC members and help us all move toward cheaper, safer renewable energy. As you are well aware, SLVREC members pay some of the highest electric rates in the country.
Here are some examples of ways SLVREC can tap into IRA funds:
- The IRA introduces a "direct payment" option for electric cooperatives who have not before been able to take advantage of the existing suite of tax credits available for clean energy technologies. The bill also makes significant reforms and additions to those credits.
- The IRA creates a $9.7 billion financial assistance program specifically for electric cooperatives to purchase or build new clean energy systems.
- Funds from the IRA can help create new clean energy jobs at the local and utility scale, which will help with rural economic development in San Luis Valley.
- There's $2 billion available to finance new transmission projects. SLV counties will soon be asking the PUC to prioritize a new redundant power transmission line connecting the Valley to transmission lines outside the Valley that will enhance our energy security while also allowing us to utilize the bountiful sunshine we receive by building solar collection facilities and marketing the power generated to major population centers.
- The IRA contains investment tax credits and production tax credits for virtually all clean energy technologies and provides additional bonuses for investments in low-income communities and other marginalized or impacted communities.
These programs are not automatically applied to cooperatives. REAs like ours must move quickly to develop plans that will qualify us for credits, grants, and loans.
We look forward to hearing how SLVREC is planning on utilizing IRA funds. Please come make a presentation to our Board of County Commissioners about how SLVREC plans to utilize IRA funds, and if there are ways Saguache County can help you in this effort.
Saguache County Commissioners