Hello, I’m Doug Fults

I’d like to be your next LPEA Board Member

Doug Fults for LPEA

“It’s not too late to vote! Ballots can be dropped off through 4pm Friday May 15 at any of the drop locations on your ballot sleeve.”

Watch the video – “Why I’m running”

For energy that is…

Independent

Doug is committed to increasing local control, local generation, and local jobs with a focus on safety.  Let’s keep more of our money in our local economy.

Affordable

The cost of producing energy has been steadily dropping, with renewables leading the way (and energy markets reliably filling gaps). Let’s get our rates on that same downward cost path.

Clean

There is no longer a need to choose between the environment and affordability.  Clean energy is the most affordable energy.

A Visit with Rancher Robby Campbell

Please give a brief list of your professional career and your educational background. (please answer in 100 words or fewer) :

As a Tech Engineer and Entrepreneur, I’ve helped cultivate multiple startups and served as Engineering Director, Software Engineer, Chief Technology Officer and CFO. My Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the College of Engineering at the University of California has prepared me to understand the challenges facing our energy system as we work to establish more responsible and economical methods of energy generation. A lifetime of problem solving has afforded me skills in the areas of research, analysis, strategic thinking, project planning, roadmap development and perhaps most importantly, a sense for what questions to ask.

What is the primary reason you would like to serve on the La Plata Electric Association board of directors? (100 words or fewer):

As a boy, I watched the windmill spin on my grandfather’s farm, saw water wheels turn giant grinding stones and crops flourish under the bright sun. Wind. Hydro. Solar. In college, my favorite subject was energy, but many of the ideas, while possible then, were not economical. Times have changed: the most cost effective means of generating power today are wind and solar, resulting in their common use in replacing aging coal plants. I am running for the LPEA to lend my experience to ensuring a responsible return of our community to a state of independent, clean and affordable energy.

LPEA is examining buying out its contract from Tri-State Generation & Transmission. Do you believe buying out the contract is the proper course to follow, please explain your position? (100 words or fewer)

While the cost of producing energy has dropped enormously, with renewables leading the way –
the cost of Photovoltaic (PV) solar has fallen over 90% – Tri-State’s rates have doubled since 2002. Under the contract, we’d pay around $2.1 billion over the next thirty years for power deemed purchasable from other sources for some 30% less, while matching, or even exceeding, Tri-State’s rate of transition to clean energy. Given the potential savings for LPEA’s 34,200 members and the community’s desire to see decreasing rates, I support efforts to continue evaluating our options for energy generation.

At what point is buying out the contract too expensive to consider? (100 words or fewer).

Coming from Colorado farming stock going back three generations, I understand the impact that energy access and affordability has on rural Coloradan families. Put simply, buying out the Tri-State contract would be too expensive to consider if costs outweighed the savings; the goal must be to find the most advantageous and responsible course of action for our community. I can assure you I will be loud and vocal if I find members’ best interests are not being served.

Tri-State has recently allowed members to increase their local generation of energy from 5% to 7% or an additional 2 megawatts of electricity. One reason for seeking to buy out the Tri-State contract was the cap of locally generated electricity, especially renewable generation, to 5%. Does Tri-State’s move to allow up to 7% or 2 additional megawatts, provide sufficient flexibility to negate the need to buyout the Tri-State Contract? (Please answer in 100 words or fewer).

I am committed to increasing local generation, ownership, and jobs – giving energy savings back to the community’s economy and keeping our money local. LPEA peak usage is around 150 megawatts. Given our excellent solar energy resources, it’s worth considering that solar installation bids at that scale (and increasingly smaller) are coming in at 2-3 cents per kWh – a fraction of what we’re paying Tri-State. We could install another 800+ collective acres of solar before local generation surpassed local consumption – a potential boon for ranchers & landowners – while Tri-State’s allowance amounts to a mere 12 acres. So, “No.”

Please answer the following hypothetical question with either a yes or no answer: LPEA has an opportunity to provide 100% of its electricity generation from renewable sources, but it must increase rates on average by 10%. Would you vote yes or no? Please check yes or no. And provide a one sentence explanation of your vote.

The short answer is NO. Good news: there’s no longer a need to choose between the environment and affordability; clean energy has the lowest cost of new generation options, meaning we can get there by lowering rates instead of increasing them.

There’s a reason we’re proud to call La Plata County home. Here, we have a chance to live on our own terms. We value our rural freedom and self-determination. But right now these qualities are missing from our energy system. Our families are dependent on some of the most expensive energy in Colorado, with forecasts showing no relief in sight.

Restricted by contract through 2050, our community is not free to generate our own power. Every year, $70 million is taken out of our local economy for (mostly) coal power from far off plants, despite having abundant energy resources here at home. I support the LPEA staff and Board’s efforts to investigate our energy supply options for the future. I am running for the LPEA Board because my technical, financial, and management experience will make me a valuable asset to those efforts.

Coming from Colorado farming stock going back three generations, I understand the impact that energy access and affordability has on rural Coloradan families. My strong work ethic and ability to think strategically has enabled a successful career in startups and establishment of a public company. I’ve served as Engineering Director, Software Engineer, Chief Technology Officer and CFO. My degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science adds to my understanding of the challenges facing our energy system and responsible process for improving it.

With your vote, I will lend my skills to help LPEA rigorously evaluate options and build a roadmap to more affordable, reliable, local, and clean energy

Contact Doug

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Herald Endorsed!