Led by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Colorado will be home to the first state chapter of the national Beneficial Electrification League.

The G&T based in Westminster worked with BEL, NRECA and the Natural Resources Defense Council to create BEL-CO, set to open in early 2020.

NRECA and NRDC founded the BEL in 2018 to broaden the national understanding of what beneficial electrification is and how it can save money for electricity providers and consumers while also reducing environmental impacts.

Beneficial electrification involves saving money for electricity providers and consumers, reducing environmental impacts, creating greater grid flexibility and resiliency, and improving the quality of life for members and their communities.

BEL-CO will serve as a completely independent organization with its own bylaws, board and governance. Tri-State, which spearheaded the effort with legal and technical resources, will be one voting member.

“The overall goal is to increase community acceptance of beneficial electrification,” said Shaun Mann, Tri-State’s senior manager for R&D and beneficial electrification.

The effort supports the goals of Colorado HB12-1961, which establishes a statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sources by 90% by 2050.

The G&T serves 43 member electric cooperatives and public power districts in four states.

“Beneficial electrification can extend the benefits of a cleaner grid to homes, schools and businesses, further reducing emissions,” said Mann.

Key state organizations, including the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Rural Electric Association and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, also lent their expertise to help launch the BEL chapter.

“It’s encouraging to see the collaboration around electrification that is taking place in Colorado,” said Jim Spiers, NRECA’s senior vice president for Business & Technology Strategies. “As consumers and policymakers learn about electricity’s environmental and economic benefits, state and local efforts can help pave the way for a more responsible future by electrifying homes, businesses and other sectors of the economy.”