Tri-State CEO lauds cooperative provisions in Inflation Reduction Act at White House announcement
(May 16, 2023 – Westminster, Colo.) – Tri-State CEO Duane Highley commented on today’s announcement of $11 billion in funding for rural communities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including $9.7 billion in direct funding for electric cooperatives transitioning to clean energy. Highley, along with other electric cooperative leaders, were present at the announcement from the White House, which can be viewed on a streamed replay at www.usda.gov/live:
“USDA’s exemplary work advances opportunities and addresses challenges as Tri-State pursues our clean energy transition. As a leader in the cooperative energy transition, Tri-State led efforts among stakeholders to advocate and engage with policymakers and the USDA to ensure that these policies and programs, which are the most impactful to electric cooperatives since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, quickly and effectively expand investment in the rural communities and ensure a just transition in the changing energy economy. Together, we can drive investment, bolster jobs and preserve the reliable, affordable power that drives rural prosperity. With today’s announcement implementing specific programs, Tri-State will vigorously pursue funding that supports reliable, affordable and responsible power.”
Tri-State advocated for specific provisions that advance investment in rural communities, including the direct payment of renewable energy tax credits to not-for-profit electric utilities, and funding to support cooperative investment in clean energy. The provisions create greater opportunities for implementation of Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan, which includes the rapid addition of clean energy resources, steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, advancement of beneficial electrification technologies and participation in organized power markets in the West.
The Empowering Rural America (“New ERA”) program, which makes $9.7 billion available to eligible rural electric cooperatives to deploy renewable energy systems, zero-emission and carbon capture systems, and to improve energy efficiency. In addition to New ERA, USDA will also be opening a Letter of Interest process for the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program, which makes $1 billion available in partially forgivable loans to renewable-energy developers and electric service providers, including municipals, cooperatives, and investor-owned and Tribal utilities to help finance large-scale solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower projects and energy storage in support of renewable energy systems.
Rural electric cooperatives, including current and previous USDA borrowers, are eligible for New ERA program funding. To apply, eligible entities must submit a Letter of Interest between July 31 and Aug. 31, 2023. For the PACE program, USDA will begin accepting Letters of Interest starting on June 30, 2023, on a rolling basis until Sept. 29, 2023.
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.
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Certain information contained in this press statement are forward-looking statements including statements concerning Tri-State’s plans, compliance with financial covenants, 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.