Report: Wind power saves water, cuts pollution

FORT COLLINS — Wind power, which generates 9.2 percent of the state’s electricity, is helping to save water and reduces pollution that leads to climate change, according to a report from Environment Colorado released Wednesday.

If wind development continues its current pace through 2016, Colorado could reduce pollution equal to removing 457,000 cars from roads, Environment Colorado said. It also would save enough water to meet the needs of an additional 20,300 Coloradans, assuming it led to a reduction in the use of water in coal- and natural-gas fired power plants.

The report was released Wednesday morning by the environmental group at Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins. The brewer, along with other businesses, has asked Congress to renew the wind energy production tax credit.

The report underscores the importance of the tax credit in protecting air, land and water as well as to the tens of thousands of jobs in Colorado and nationwide, Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement from his office.

“The wind PTC has bipartisan support and is an economic driver that is critical to jobs and a clean and diverse energy portfolio in this country,” Bennet said. “It should be extended immediately.”

The wind tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year if Congress takes no action. The credit has driven sales of companies such as Danish turbine maker Vestas, which operates plants in Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo.

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