By Keriann Conroy, Perspective, High Country News
Colorado’s largest member-owned generation and transmission provider may be in trouble.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which provides wholesale electricity to rural
cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska, is facing increasing pressure to let go of some of its contracts and to improve its renewable portfolio. But it appears unable to change fast enough to keep up with the times.
Most of Tri-State’s power is generated from coal- and gas-fired plants or large hydroelectric dams, but it is now facing regulatory hassles and the potential exodus of customers. Rural
“distribution” cooperatives are currently waiting to see how much it would cost them to exit their contracts, while Colorado moves toward regulations requiring more renewables.
Read more here.
Photo Credit: Missy Kennedy/Flickr
Keriann Conroy is a graduate student at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado, studying democratic practices and sustainability.
Previously Posted News Stories & RMI Report
- Rocky Mountain Institute Report: A Low-Cost Energy Future for Western Cooperatives: Emerging Opportunities For Cooperative Electric Utilities To Pursue Clean Energy At A Cost Savings To Their Members
- Colorado Public Utilities Commission asserts jurisdiction over Tri-State, Clean Cooperative
- Boulder-based juwi developing solar farm in southern Colorado for Tri-State amid changing industry, Boulder Daily Camera
- Colorado co-op’s fight for renewable energy could upend how rural communities are powered, The Colorado Sun
- Ski industry climate change efforts shift to electric utilities and their regulators, Clean
Cooperative. The ski industry is increasingly focusing its sustainability efforts on decarbonizing the electric grid, by engaging with their power suppliers, regulators, and state policymakers. In the latest move, a group of Colorado ski resorts are supporting Delta-Montrose Electric Association’s efforts to end its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and pursue more renewable energy.
- Holy Cross Energy inks deal to develop 100-megawatt wind farm, offload coal plant, Real Vail
Guzman Energy Group, which helped New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Association begin to reach its renewable goals in 2016, is also working with the Delta-Montrose Electric Association to break away from wholesaler Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which DMEA feels isn’t moving away from fossil fuels quickly enough.
- Colorado co-op seeks exit from coal-heavy Tri-State to pursue renewables, Utility Dive
- A utility in coal country doubles down on renewables, High Country News
Also of Potential Interest
- Envisioning the Rural Electric System of the Future, Rocky Mountain Institute
- The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s innovative SUNDA Project helps rural electric cooperatives to develop utility-scale solar projects. SUNDA stands for “Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration.”
Resources are available here: SUNDA Project
NRECA Report: A Solar Revolution in Rural America