To tackle the challenge of climate change, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pledged during his 2018 election campaign to help the state reach 100% renewable energy by 2040, with aggressive targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction from power generation.
One of Colorado’s two investor-owned electric utilities is a long-time leader in GHG emissions reduction and was the first utility in the Centennial State with no coal generation in its fleet, having closed its last Colorado coal plant in 2012. Since then, the company has added three new wind farms in Southern Colorado which together deliver 150 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity, enough to power more than 70,000 homes. The company also has 11 community solar gardens in its service territory. The company is helping bring a new 200 MW utility-scale solar facility to the community, bringing the company’s percentage of power generated from renewable resources to 51 percent by 2024, reducing carbon emissions 71 percent and saving customers $66 million over 15 years.
In late 2020, the company recognized an opportunity to partner with Gov. Polis and his team to announce a Clean Energy Plan, which will advance the company’s carbon reduction leadership while supporting the governor’s approach to climate policy.
Linhart PR’s utility experts developed a communications strategy for the announcement that sought to reinforce the company’s leadership in GHG emissions reduction and demonstrate support for the governor’s approach, ahead of the 2021 Colorado legislative session, by aligning with his team on messaging and outreach, generate earned media coverage to build visibility and reputation as a reliable, responsible power provider and position the new renewable energy plans as important drivers of GHG emissions reduction, local tax revenue and customer savings.
Linhart PR prepared the team and supported planning for a virtual press conference with Governor Polis. Key aspects of the virtual press conference included:
The company achieved its goal of signaling support for the governor’s policy approach and was positioned as a clean energy leader in a significant portion of the news coverage.