The last few months have been busy at Tri-State Generation and Transmission – Midwest’s power supplier headquartered in Denver. Back in January, Tri-State announced their Responsible Energy Plan. Some of the highlights of the plan include closing their coal-fired generation station in New Mexico by the end of this year and all coal facilities in Colorado by 2030. That will allow them to comply with those states’ regulations to eliminate emissions from coal. To offset those losses of generation, Tri-State has contracted to bring over 1 gigawatt (1,000,000 kilowatts) of solar and wind generation online by 2024. The cost of buying power from solar and wind generation has fallen significantly in recent years and is also helped by significant government subsidies. But it is to the point that Tri-State feels that they should be able to keep rates flat or possibly decrease them slightly. You can read more about the Responsible Energy Plan at www.TriStateGT.org/Responsible-Energy-Plan.
Another part of their Responsible Energy Plan is to make changes to their bylaws and policies that allow for members that have an even greater interest in purchasing renewable energy. Even though Tri-State already generates the most solar energy of any cooperative G&T in the country and was working on those changes to allow utilities to buy more, a couple members claim Tri-State was not doing enough. But it seems like the real reason for their discontent is they just think they can find cheaper rates somewhere else. Two utilities filed a complaint with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission seeking to leave Tri-State. In turn, Tri-State requested a ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on how a buy-out should be calculated. Tri-State feels that the national Commission would be a more fair arbiter than the Colorado PUC which may not adequately consider how their ruling could affect members in other states, including an exit payment sufficient to keep remaining members whole. In June, Tri-State received a favorable initial ruling from FERC that they should have jurisdiction in this matter. Hopefully, that will lead to a resolution that is fair to all Tri-State members.
What Midwest can do for you:
Midwest keeps a Medical Emergency List in our Operations area so that we can have an idea about accounts that need to be notified or prioritized in case of a large or extended outage. If you, a family member or a neighbor has medical equipment that might not provide adequate service if there is an extended outage – such as an oxygen supply – please contact our office so we can include them on the list.
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