Reducing Costs, Leveraging Clean Resources Among Reasons for the Move
Brighton, Colorado/Washington D.C. — United Power, a rural electric cooperative based in Brighton, Colorado, today filed its Notice of Intent to withdraw from the membership of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, D.C., effective January 1, 2024. The two-year notice period was accepted by FERC in an October 29, 2021 ruling.
United Power is the largest member of Tri-State and accounts for nearly 20% of the G&T’s annual revenue. United Power has unsuccessfully attempted to modify its all requirements contract with the G&T for more than three years. In the last nine months alone United Power has tendered three formal term sheets and held numerous high-level meetings, but leadership at the G&T has been unresponsive to the contract modification requests.
“Sadly, our power supplier has been ignoring our efforts to come to an amicable arrangement that better supports the needs of our members while guaranteeing that our prior commitments are met,” said Mark A. Gabriel, United Power President and Chief Executive Officer. “Instead of working with us in the pursuit of lower-cost, cleaner options, Tri-State has resisted these developments. Tri-State recently purchased additional coal generation, is limiting our members’ ability to add more carbon free generation and is penalizing additional storage on our system. They also offer non-members preferable transmission rates over those of us who have invested in the system for decades.”
United Power has been a leader in the deployment of innovative technologies and in the integration of renewable energy resources. Currently United Power has 84 megawatts of renewable generation on its system including 46 megawatts of utility scale solar, Colorado’s largest battery storage project and more than 6,800 roof top systems. Tri-State’s policies include penalties if a utility exceeds 5% of generation other than from the G&T.
There are a number of cases currently in front of FERC, Denver Courts, Adams County Courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals that will ultimately decide the exit fee for United Power. United Power joins Delta Montrose Electric Association and Kit Carson who have exited the G&T in the last five years. At least six other cooperatives are considering a potential exit.
“When I came to United Power nine months ago, I was extremely optimistic that we would be able to come to an agreement that lives up to our commitment for past investments and allows us to provide lower cost, cleaner options to our rapidly growing communities in the future,” Gabriel said. “Our decision to depart is not made lightly but follows the cooperative principles of voluntary participation and member’s economic participation by choice,” added Gabriel.
United Power will be seeking alternative power supply and the use of transmission as outlined by FERC as part of Open Access Transmission Tariffs.
About United Power
United Power is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative, delivering electricity to homes, farms and businesses throughout Colorado’s northern front range. The cooperative is one of the fastest-growing electric cooperatives in the nation, and in June joined the elite ranks of cooperatives serving more than 100,000 meters. The 900 square mile service territory extends from the mountains of Coal Creek and Golden Gate Canyon, along the I-25 corridor and Carbon Valley region, to the farmlands of Brighton, Hudson and Keenesburg. United Power is also a founding member of the NextGen Cooperative Alliance, dedicated to expanding the power supply and procurement options and reforming the traditional Generation and Transmission (G&T) business model. For more information about the cooperative, visit www.unitedpower.com or follow them on social media Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.