Politics? Climate change? Cheap renewable energy? Vision? We are already in our second month of the year and there have been many changes announced from Tri-State G&T. Tri-State announced recently of the closure of two coal generation plants. The Escalante Plant in New Mexico will close at the end of 2020 and the Craig Generating Plant will close by 2030. At that point Tri-State will be 100% coal free in Colorado. This week (mid-January), Tri-State is scheduled to present the details of its “Responsible Energy Plan.”
The politics in Colorado has been very interesting the past decade. Democrats are now the majority in the House and Senate and with a Democratic Governor, energy bills fly through the Capitol and are signed with very little input from the Republicans or the folks in the energy business. Gov. Polis unveiled his roadmap to 100% renewables by 2040 and signed 11 energy bills. One of those bills establishes Colorado Public Utilities Commission oversight of Tri-State’s integrated resource planning. The war on coal continues in Colorado and New Mexico and as I see it, Tri-State has been left little choice than to close the plants and produce more renewable energy.
Currently, the energy markets are long on energy and capacity that allow Tri-State to buy cheap power and reduce the amount of energy generated from coal. With the closures of these two coal units it will put more pressure on the market, management of peaking units and added renewable resources.
So whether these changes are due to politics, climate change, cheap power due to the excess power available in the markets or a vision of Tri-State, there will be many changes in the energy industry over the next ten years. I’m confident that Tri-State will continue to bring us reliable and affordable power through this transition.
“Look up and Live!”
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