At last month’s City of Ouray Council Meeting, the City joined the Town of Ridgway and Ouray County in going Totally Green. By participating in the San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) Totally Green program, the City now consumes 100% renewably sourced electricity.
In many cases, renewable energy from the open market is used to fulfill Totally Green requirements. In the case of Ouray however, 100% of the city’s municipal electricity use is covered by the output of the Ouray Hydroelectric Plant, which recently began producing electricity again after partnering with the Ouray Ice Park to make repairs following a six-ton rockfall event that damaged the facility’s penstock in March of 2021. (See last month’s story, “Cooperation Carries the Day”) Given this unique situation, it is truthful to say that Ouray now generates its own power. (By the way, the statement also holds true for the County of Ouray, which is also a Totally Green participant for their municipal accounts).
The net proceeds from the City’s contribution goes to the SMPA Green Fund. It is the Green Fund which enables SMPA to develop more locally sourced renewable energy projects. This fund is also the source for the Energy Efficiency and Beneficial Electrification rebates offered to SMPA members, including significant rebates for larger projects (such as the pending Telluride Foundation Affordable Housing project being planned in Ouray). We commend the City of Ouray for further stimulating conservation and local, renewable generation in the beautiful mountain community of Ouray.