Tri-State’s Phase I 2020 Electric Resource Plan settlement approved by Colorado PUC
- Phase I of Tri-State 2020 Electric Resource Plan approved Monday by Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
- Approval is the result of a landmark, uncontested settlement with more than two dozen parties in January, recommended for approval by an ALJ in late March 2022.
- Tri-State now moves to Phase II efforts, including solicitation of bids for new, clean resources being issued in May 2022.
(April 19, 2022 – Westminster, Colo.) The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a landmark settlement that sets near-term greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions targets for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which will lead to an 80% GHG reduction for the cooperative in the state by 2030.
On March 28, 2022, an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the CPUC recommended approval of a settlement of Phase I of Tri-State’s 2020 Electric Resource Plan, which had received near-unanimous support from more than two dozen utility members, environmental organizations, state agencies and labor organizations. Approval of the settlement became effective on Monday, April 18.
“Tri-State is positioned to maintain reliability and affordability across our system, while advancing greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Colorado,” said Duane Highley, CEO for Tri-State. “We are grateful for the support from our members and those who have participated in the regulatory process as we continue our transformation, and we look forward to the next phase of our resource plan effort.”
No exceptions were filed to the settlement agreement. Tri-State has agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to its wholesale electricity sales in Colorado as follows: 26% in 2025, 36% in 2026, 46% in 2027, and 80% in 2030. These amounts will be calculated based on Tri-State’s 2005 emissions baseline for wholesale sales in Colorado.
Details of settlement agreement and next steps
With the settlement agreement approval, Tri-State will begin Phase II of its 2020 Electric Resource Plan, and will solicit all-source bids in May 2022, with a focus on projects that support emissions reductions. These resources would be scheduled to come online by 2025 and into 2026.
Tri-State will close the bidding process in early July 2022, and will file its ERP Implementation Report in early December 2022, reflecting a detailed analysis of 5-6 portfolios, including Tri-State’s preferred portfolio.
Parties to the settlement have agreed to an extensive set of modeling assumptions and inputs for Phase II of the ERP, such as the update of certain technical assumptions related to the social cost of carbon and methane, updates to reflect new Tri-State member partial requirements contracts, continued analysis of the retirement date for the third unit at the Craig Station, and other information.
Tri-State also had agreed in the settlement to incremental annual energy efficiency savings targets for its Colorado member system load, of at least 0.35% in 2023, 0.5% by 2024, 0.75% by 2025, and 1% by 2030.
A third-party facilitated stakeholder engagement process is also taking place this year to explore community assistance opportunities for the City of Craig and Moffat County, Colo., as the region prepares for the retirement of Craig Station by 2030.
Parties to the settlement include Tri-State, its Wyoming and Colorado member distribution systems who intervened, the staff of the CPUC, the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Independent Energy Association, Colorado Office of Utility Consumer Advocate, Colorado Solar and Storage Association/Solar Energy Industries Association, Conservation Coalition (including Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and Western Colorado Alliance), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #111, Interwest Energy Alliance, Western Resource Advocates and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
Tri-State is a 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. 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 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.