Tri-State receives upgraded credit rating

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Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association’s credit rating has been upgraded by Moody’s Investors Service, benefiting from what the rating agency reported as a “stable outlook, sound financial profile and ample liquidity resources,” according to a news release from Tri-State.

Tri-State’s financial ratings were raised from Baa1 to A3.

“Tri-State’s board of directors has shown a strong commitment to protect its member cooperatives from the risks in the marketplace while placing the association in a good financial position,” said Ken Anderson, executive vice president and general manager of Tri-State, in the release.

“This is reflected in the upgrade from Moody’s.”

The rating upgrade reflects “Moody’s view that Tri-State’s future rate setting plans and long-term financial objectives will allow the cooperative to maintain key financial metrics on a level consistent with the higher rating,” according to the Moody’s report.

In passing its 2011 budget this fall, Tri-State’s board announced that there would be no change to the wholesale rate charged to its membership for the second consecutive year, owing, in large part, to positive performance and cost containment measures, Tri-State reported in the news release.

In the past several years, Tri-State has entered into contracts with other utilities and independent power producers to obtain renewable, intermediate and long-term baseload resources necessary to meet growing member obligations and greatly reduce its exposure risk from purchasing potentially volatile, market-based power, according to the release.

Based in Westminster, Tri-State is a non-profit, wholesale power supplier to 18 member electric cooperatives in Colorado, 12 in New Mexico, eight in Wyoming and six in Nebraska, which in turn provide electricity to nearly 600,000 meters, or a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

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