Advantages of building in Colorado
We have a proven track record providing energy solutions for technology companies across our service territories and we have developed a complete energy solution for mission critical facilities. A few key areas we have addressed include:
- A proven history of executing on major facility expansions in support of customer growth, and a willingness to utilize utility capital in support of that growth
- Development of natural gas infrastructure in support of on-site back up generation
- Given our proximity to Denver and Colorado Springs, the needed vendor resources to support mission critical operations are in close proximity
- We have identified sites within our service territories as potential locations for data center customers
Our local economic development partners, the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO), administer a sales and use tax capital improvement fund for qualifying new businesses, which is one of the leading incentive packages in the state.
The State of Colorado also has available investment tax credit and enterprise zone programs that may provide benefits. Additional information on these programs is available on request.
Additionally, while Pueblo is located in close proximity to both Denver and Colorado Springs, it is nationally recognized for its low cost of doing business, business friendly climate and low taxes.
The State of Colorado does not impose personal property taxes or inventory taxes on businesses.
Location and climate
Pueblo’s climate and elevation are ideal for data storage and processing facilities. The elevation is 4,692 feet with a semi-arid climate. The average annual temperature is 52.6 degrees and annual precipitation is approximately 13 inches. According to the National Weather Service, Pueblo averages approximately 60 days per year when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Sunshine is abundant throughout the year, with the sun shining approximately 75% of the time.
Modern telecommunication infrastructure
The community is connected to the long haul fiber traversing the state east and west through the Denver hub.
There are currently four long haul fiber providers within the Pueblo footprint.
Access to renewables and market energy
We have developed tariffs that facilitate the securing of market energy for our largest loads, allowing these customers to access that energy. Depending on a customer’s business model and risk appetite, these structures potentially allow for a lower cost of energy and greater access to renewable energy.
Our customers value renewable energy, and we’re proud to have one of the cleanest energy grids in Colorado, powered 100 percent by natural gas, wind and solar generation.
Our total wind energy portfolio consists of three wind projects with a total generating capacity of 150 megawatts. In addition to these facilities, we are committed to finding renewable energy solutions for our largest customers, whether that would be through expanding our Renewable Ready program, securing renewable energy from third parties or acquiring renewable energy credits on their behalf.
Over the past eight years, we have been a leader in modernizing our electric generating fleet by retiring aging coal plants and constructing new natural gas and renewable energy resources including wind facilities. We’ve nearly doubled the generating capacity of our system during this period while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy we produce. From 2011 to 2018, we reduced carbon emissions by 25 percent and reduced nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 50 percent.
Renewable Advantage is Black Hills Energy’s ground-breaking plan designed to save money for customers, make Southern Colorado a clean energy leader and help Pueblo and Southern Colorado meet renewable energy goals. The plan, called Renewable Advantage, would add up to 200 megawatts of new renewable energy resources and is expected to result in significant savings for customers.
Under the Renewable Advantage plan, up to 60 percent of the power supplied by Black Hills Energy could come from carbon-free, renewable energy resources by 2023, doubling the amount of renewable energy on Black Hills Energy’s Southern Colorado system in just three years.
With the Renewable Advantage plan, Black Hills Energy has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 200 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy resources for its Southern Colorado system to include large-scale wind, solar and battery storage projects.
Best in class reliability and robust infrastructure and capacity
We currently have the ability to serve mission critical loads from our Greenhorn substation (located on the south side of Pueblo) via high reliability distribution lines. Additional capacity will be available in mid-2020.
We have additional substation capacity available in the Airport Industrial Park (located east of Pueblo), which is currently served by our Airport East and Airport Memorial substations.
Competitive rates and innovative tariffs
We deliver competitive rates and support our customers’ energy goals with innovative rate tariffs. Black Hills Energy has been successful in working with our regulators to create tariffs that provide for access to lower cost market energy for large load customers.
In 2018, the State of Colorado passed legislation empowering the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to authorize applications by electric utilities to implement economic development rates. The legislation allows the Commission to approve, and electric utilities to implement, lower economic development rates for commercial and industrial users who locate or expand their operations in Colorado by at least 3 megawatts.
Premium data center sites
A strong energy partner needs to be committed to excellence in reliability. Over the past 10 years, Black Hills Energy has consistently been in the top quartile of investor-owned utilities in the country for reliability.