In an ongoing effort to reimagine its generation portfolio, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association recently released an ambitious resource plan that aims to significantly decrease their carbon footprint. During a virtual press conference held on November 12th, Tri-State CEO Duane Highley and Governor Jared Polis announced the energy cooperative’s goal to reduce emissions associated with wholesale electricity sales in Colorado by 80% over the next ten years. 

“We’re committed to serving our members and doing our part to help Colorado meet its carbon reduction goals,” says Highley. Tri-State’s preferred scenario to aggressively decrease emissions by 2030 will be included in their Electrical Resource Plan that will be submitted on December 1st to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

To accomplish this goal, the cooperative will invest in technologies that generate electricity from renewable resources. In reference to Tri-State’s recent commitment, Governor Polis states, “They plan to bring forward a really exciting and groundbreaking proposal that has the potential to ensure an increasingly reliable, affordable, and sustainable supply of energy well into the future.”

The announcement comes at the co-op has also committed to reducing member electric rates by as much as 8% by 2023. 

“As we increase renewables and decrease emissions in our Responsible Energy Plan, we are also delivering on our commitment to lower, more competitive rates for our members, and greater contract flexibility to self-supply power and locally-produced renewable energy,” said Highley.

In order to better balance future electricity supply and demand, and maintain that balance with a larger share of intermittent renewable energy resources in its portfolio, Tri-State, along with four fellow regional power and utility providers, sent letters expressing their intent to explore expanding the Southwest Power Pool’s regional transmission organization (RTO) westward. Based out of Little Rock, Arkansas, Southwest Power Pool is a non-profit corporation that works to provide dependable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale electricity prices for its members.

“Tri-State’s participation in a Western Interconnect RTO is essential to advance our members’ reliability, affordability, and clean energy goals,” shares Highley. By providing an interconnect between wind and solar resources, the Rocky Mountain region would be in an advantageous position to facilitate efficient transfers of additional generating resources between eastern and western regional areas. The net effect would be to improve affordability and reliability for the cooperative, its members and ratepayers.

If you would like to learn more about these energy initiatives, please visit Tri-State