Tag Archives: Colorado Public Utilities Commission

Electric cooperatives in Colorado push for change at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association

By Joe Smyth, Clean Cooperative

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is one of the largest G&Ts in the country,
delivering power to 43 electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
Like many other G&Ts, most of the power that Tri-State generates comes from coal fired power plants . . . Tri-State’s largest member co-op, United Power, has proposed changes to Tri-State’s bylaws to give co-ops more flexible contract options, so they can purchase power from other providers and pursue more local renewable energy projects. United Power has been discussing its proposal with other Tri-State member co-ops, warning that Tri-State policies are turning away large customers.

United Power built several solar projects, and in 2017 reached the limit on local energy
development imposed by Tri-State. So United shifted its strategy to energy storage projects, and installed a 4 megawatt Tesla Powerpack, now the largest battery in Colorado. But Tri-State
pushed back, and last year changed its policies to discourage its member co-ops from pursuing energy storage projects. Read the entire article here.

Photo: United Power’s Battery Storage Project. YouTube Video Joe Smyth includes in his article:

Push for renewables vexes Western power supplier

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

Also of Potential Interest

Biggest solar array east of Rockies set for Pueblo

The $200 million, 120 megawatt project will be installed on approximately 900 acres at two sites. Photo by Chris McLean, The Pueblo Chieftain

The $200 million, 120-megawatt project will be installed on approximately 900 acres at two sites. Photo by Chris McLean, The Pueblo Chieftain

By Jeff Tucker, The Pueblo Chieftan & The Greeley Tribune

Excerpt
Joshua Epel, chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, noted that solar power in Colorado, where there’s an abundance of sunshine, is a safe bet and the project represents a commitment to diversity in Colorado’s sources of power. “It’s a hedge against increases in gas prices and it’s a hedge against the volatility of fossil fuels,” he said . . . The project will employ about 370 construction workers on site and, at the low end, generate $600,000 annually in property tax revenues . . . State Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, also noted that SunEdison and Xcel will partner with Pueblo City Schools (D60) to bolster the STEM curriculum at Central High School by allowing students to examine the technology and exposing them to the fields that are applied there, such as electrical engineering.

Read the whole story here.