New Colorado Microgrid Closer to Reality: Niobrara NatGas LLC Receives CPCN – First New Colorado Natural Gas LDC Since 1997

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Colorado now has its first new natural gas local distribution company since 1997. Niobrara NatGas LLC received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in CPUC Decision No. R13-1038. The CPCN encompasses authority to construct and operate a natural gas transmission and distribution system to serve the Niobrara Energy Park in north-central Colorado.

The Niobrara Energy Park will be one of the nation’s first hybrid natural gas and renewable energy data center parks. The Niobrara Energy Park will host data centers, renewable generation facilities, natural gas fuel cells and conventional natural gas fired generation with fuel provided by Niobrara NatGas LLC. These facilities will be connected by a microgrid within the Niobrara Energy Park creating a self-sufficient and extremely reliable development from an electric operations standpoint. The data centers may own the electricity generating facilities, which would make the Niobrara Energy Park one of the largest self-generation/distributed generation operations in the U.S.

Counsel for Niobrara NatGas, LLC, Mark Davidson of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP, also represents Colorado Natural Gas, Inc., the last natural gas local distribution company to obtain a CPCN from the CPUC in 1997.