Rifle power plant sells for $6.5 million | PostIndependent.com

Rifle power plant sells for $6.5 million

Lynn Burton
Staff Writer

The Rifle co-generation power plant was recently sold to the Westminster based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association for $6.5 million, according to records at the Garfield County Courthouse.

American Atlas put the American Atlas No. 1 power plant on line in August 1987, and later sold it to Colorado Energy Management, the plant’s most recent owner.

The 85-megawatt, gas-fired power plant, located near the Garfield County Airport, generates enough power for approximately 85,000 homes, said Jim Van Someren, spokesman for Tri-State.

Electricity from the plant is sold to 44 energy cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico, he said.

Van Someren said the plant will continue operating as it has in the past, and he doesn’t expect any personnel changes for at least a year.

In April 1998, Tri-State contracted to buy all the plant’s power.

“Tri-State decided to buy American Atlas No. 1 rather than to continue to purchase its output under contract because it’s a good value for the money, especially considering that the energy generated there is very reliable and readily available when needed,” said Charlie Crane, Tri-State’s senior vice-president of power management and generation.

The American Atlas No. 1 plant generates power as its customers demand, and it only takes eight minutes to bring the gas turbines on-line in a process controlled from Tri-State offices in Westminster, according to the company’s newsletter.

The 13 acres of greenhouses adjacent to the power plant, which use waste heat from the power plant to grow tomatoes, were not included in the sale, according to Van Wilgus, attorney for greenhouse owner Wolf Creek Rifle LLC.

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