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

The G&T based in Westminster worked with BEL, NRECA, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to open the doors of BEL-CO in December.

Key state offices, including the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Rural Electric Association, and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project also lent their expertise.

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

BEL-CO will serve as a completely independent organization with its own bylaws, board, and governance.

One driving force behind BEL-CO is Colorado’s mandate that power generation be 100% renewable by 2040 and statewide greenhouse gas emissions be cut by 90% by 2020.

Tri-State has its own goal of 50% renewable generation by 2023, Mann says. The G&T serves 43 electric cooperatives and public power districts in four states.

“It’s encouraging to see the collaboration around beneficial electrification that is taking place in Colorado,” says 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.”