Tri-State advances clean energy, emissions reductions goals in supplemental Electric Resource Plan filing
- Tri-State files required Electric Resource Plan update with the Colorado PUC; augments filing originally made in December 2020.
- Revised Preferred Plan reduces costs, increases renewables and storage and maintains 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with wholesale electricity sales.
- Plan meets cooperative member goals under Responsible Energy Plan.
- Revised filing also models five required additional scenarios requested by stakeholders.
(Sept 28, 2021 – Westminster, Colo.) Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association would continue to meet its carbon dioxide reduction and clean energy goals as identified in its Responsible Energy Plan and supported in a supplemental Electric Resource Plan (ERP) filing made today with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Tri-State is required under Colorado law to periodically file an electric resource plan with the CPUC, and as part of its ongoing proceeding before the state commission, Tri-State was directed to supplement its original ERP filing with additional consensus scenario modeling results. The filing today updates Tri-State's Revised Preferred Plan and models additional resource plan scenarios with assumptions defined by stakeholders that intervened in Tri-State’s ERP filing. Tri-State originally filed its Electric Resource Plan with the CPUC on Dec. 1, 2020.
“Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan outlines the path for our clean energy transition, through which we are expanding renewable generation and reducing carbon dioxide gas emissions, while ensuring reliable, affordable, responsible electricity for our members and communities,” said Duane Highley, CEO for Tri-State. “We look forward to continuing to work with the CPUC, our members and stakeholders to develop a reliable, affordable and responsible path that meets our members’ needs and accomplishes other energy transition goals.”
Based on the modeling inputs and outputs, however, the stakeholder scenarios did not fully meet key specific parameters for Tri-State. Tri-State’s Revised Preferred Plan, also part of today’s filing, observes contractual obligations and other key elements for the generation and transmission cooperative, while reducing costs, increasing renewable energy and storage resources, and continuing to achieve Colorado emission reduction goals including an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with wholesale electricity sales in Colorado by 2030 (relative to a 2005 baseline).
Tri-State's Revised Preferred Plan
Tri-State's Revised Preferred Plan increases renewables and energy storage by more than 2,000 megawatts by 2030. The revised plan and some stakeholder scenarios also align with existing contractual obligations with other utility service providers for the Laramie River Station and Springerville Station, continuing their operations through the study period.
In addition, the plan also allows the model to optimize the retirement of Craig Unit 3 between 2026–2029, based on capacity needs and economics, and validates Tri-State’s announced retirement date of Dec. 31, 2029 for the unit. Tri-State will continue to work with the Craig community and others to support local economic development and transition in the meantime.
“We know affordably achieving such significant reductions will be a challenge and will require timely participation in a regional transmission organization in the West, and additional collaboration and innovation, but we believe that by working together we can reach these goals,” Highley said.
Tri-State's Responsible Energy Plan
Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan (REP), first announced in January 2020, outlines the path for a clean energy transition, through which it is expanding renewable generation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the benefit of its members and communities.
With the completion earlier this year of the first of eight new wind and solar projects to be constructed for Tri-State by 2024 under its REP, 50% of the energy provided by Tri-State and its members is forecast to come from clean energy by 2024. Clean energy provided by Tri-State and its members is anticipated to reach 70% by 2030, and the revised preferred plan is a significant step toward that goal.
Tri-State also noted that at a time when other electric utilities are increasing rates, it is reducing its wholesale rates to its members 4% over two years. Tri-State reduced its wholesale power rates 2% in March 2021, to be followed by another 2% wholesale rate reduction in 2022.
“With our ERP filing, we are demonstrating that we have a viable and responsible plan to ensure reliable electricity for our members as we implement our energy transition and support attainment of Colorado’s emission reduction goals,” Highley said.
Tri-State is power supply cooperative of 45 members, operating on a not-for-profit basis, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State, visit www.tristate.coop.
Certain information contained in this press statement are forward-looking statements including statements concerning Tri-State’s plans, future events, and other information that is not historical information. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described from time to time in Tri-State’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tri-State’s expectations and beliefs are expressed in good faith, and Tri-State believes there is a reasonable basis for them. However, Tri-State cannot assure you that management’s expectations and beliefs will be achieved. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein.