Tri-State, members will continue to pursue flexible memberships options in FERC hearing process
Settlement filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was supported by a majority of Tri-State members and would have resulted in flexible partial requirements memberships.
Six members pursuing partial requirements membership option.
United Power unilaterally contested settlement, leading FERC to reject agreement, schedule hearing.
Flexible membership options are part of member-driven Responsible Energy Plan.
(December 23, 2022 – Westminster, Colo.) The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will move consideration of flexible partial requirements memberships between not-for-profit power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and its members to a hearing process, following efforts to settle the issue in a timelier manner that were supported by a significant majority of Tri-State’s utility members and Tri-State, unopposed by FERC trial staff, but contested by utility member United Power.
Through partial requirements memberships, Tri-State’s utility members can utilize the flexible option 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 FERC’s formal settlement process, in April 2022, Tri-State filed with FERC a settlement agreement with numerous parties, including Tri-State utility members La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA) and San Miguel Power Association (SMPA). The settlement agreement addressed the buy-down payment that a partial requirements member would pay to Tri-State and certain commercial terms of partial requirements membership.
Because the settlement is contested, FERC determined it must reject the settlement and refer the issue to hearing procedures.
“Tri-State will continue to advocate for our members’ approach to more flexible power supply options,” Tri-State CEO Duane Highley said. “FERC’s approval of the settlement, which was supported by the vast majority of our members, would have advanced our members power supply flexibility goals in a timely manner. With one member contesting the settlement, it’s not surprising that the issue will now go to a hearing. At FERC, when the formal settlement process does not resolve an issue, the issue moves to the FERC’s hearing procedures, which we have confidence will lead to a fair resolution for all members.”
Six members pursuing flexible partial requirements membership options
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. Through an open season process, Tri-State’s utility members had the option to request an allocation of the aggregate of 300 MW available for self-supply. Six Tri-State utility members expressed interest and were allocated self-supply capacity from alternative power suppliers, which for some members could include the development of local renewable energy resources.
In 2021, LPEA in Durango, Colo., PVREA in Fort Collins, Colo., and SMPA in Nucla, Colo., were allocated an aggregate of 203 MW for additional self-supply. These same utility members supported the partial requirements settlement agreement filed with the FERC. In May 2022, 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.
While United Power has provided its notice to withdraw from membership in Tri-State as of May 2024, it nonetheless contested the settlement between its fellow members and Tri-State, despite the immediate benefits the agreement would have offered all Tri-State members. United Power did not opt into any of Tri-State’s open seasons for partial requirements service and instead is pursuing a full exit under Tri-State’s contract termination payment (CTP) tariff, which is currently under review by FERC.
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.
The settlement agreement addresses issues in FERC Docket Nos. ER20-2417-000 and ER21-368-000.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit power supply cooperative of 45 members, including 42 electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states. Together with our member/owners, we 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, 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.