Co-ops trying to leave Tri-State say the electric utility is “stonewalling” by refusing to calculate the price to exit
Tri-State is cleaning up the way it generates electricity, but 7 members, including United Power in Colorado, want to know if they can afford a greener deal outside the partnership.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is “stonewalling” efforts by seven rural electric cooperatives – in Colorado, New Mexico and Nebraska – to get estimates on how much it will cost them to leave the association, according to a complaint filed with federal regulators.
“Tri-State’s refusal to perform the calculation required… is patently unjust and unreasonable,” according to the complaint to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Eight of us asked for numbers in November and December through letters,” said Dean Hubbuck, chief energy resource officer at United Power in Brighton, Tri-State’s largest co-op. “We didn’t get a response from Tri-State, and when then they finally did respond they said they weren’t going to give any numbers.”
Lee Boughey, a Tri-State spokesman, said in an email, “We disagree with the allegations in the complaint. The complaint is premature, given the current status of the case in FERC settlement negotiations.”
Tri-State sells wholesale electricity to 42 rural electric cooperatives in four states under contracts that run to 2050 and require the co-ops to purchase at least 95% of their electricity from the association.
There has been growing desire among some member co-ops to leave the association, or at least explore the cost of leaving, spurred by the prospects of more homegrown, cleaner and cheaper electricity.
To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.
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