Westminster, CO (May 23, 2022) — In another significant step forward to achieve the flexibility goals in Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s transformative Responsible Energy Plan, an additional three utility members will pursue an alternative membership option with the wholesale power supply cooperative.
A total of six utility members have been allocated an aggregate of 300 megawatts (MW) for self-supply from alternative power suppliers, which for some members could include the development of local renewable energy resources.
High Plains Power in Riverton, Wyo., Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative in Espanola, N.M., and Mountain Parks Electric in Granby, Colo., were allocated an aggregate of 97 MW for self-supply, following the May 13, 2022, completion of an open season to request an allocation of self-supply. The open season was available to all of Tri-State’s utility members that did not submit allocation requests in the initial 2021 open season.
In 2021, La Plata Electric Association in Durango, Colo., Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association in Fort Collins, Colo., and San Miguel Power Association in Nucla, Colo., were allocated an aggregate of 203 MW for additional self-supply. On April 28, 2022, these same utility members supported a partial requirements settlement agreement filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Tri-State’s members crafted a win-win solution for both those members desiring greater power supply flexibility and those members that value their current power supply arrangements,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State CEO. “We will continue to advocate for our members’ interests as we advance these alternate power supply contract options through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s processes.”
“Pursuing self-supply options while remaining a Tri-State member gives us the best of both worlds,” said Darick Eisenbraun, CEO for High Plains Power. “High Plains Power continues to benefit from Tri-State membership, while we also mitigate potential risks through power supply diversity.”
“Working together, we can support goals for economic growth in tribal communities,” said Michael Hastings, CEO and general manager of Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative. “An alternative power supply contract option creates opportunities to advance our Pueblos’ goals for investment and economic development through locally generated clean energy.”
“This is exciting news for our Mountain Parks Electric members,” said Mark Johnston, general manager for Mountain Parks Electric. “It affords us the opportunity to become even greener, while also diversifying our power supply.”
The partial requirements membership option was developed in a collaborative process by Tri-State’s utility members and approved by its Board of Directors for filing with the FERC. Under the 2021 and 2022 open season process, Tri-State’s utility members had the option to request an allocation of the aggregate of 300 MW available, to self-supply up to 50% of their load requirements, in addition to members’ current 5% self-supply and community solar options.
As part of its Responsible Energy Plan, Tri-State is increasing contract flexibility, maintaining reliability, has reduced its wholesale rates 4%, and is increasing clean energy and reducing emissions, with 50% of the energy Tri-State’s members consume forecasted to come from emissions-free renewable energy in 2024 and targeted to reach 70% by 2030.