Tri-State filing identifies 1,850 megawatts of additional renewables, energy storage by 2030
• Tri-State files its first Electric Resource Plan with Colorado Public Utilities Commission
under new rules.
• Preferred scenario advances goal of 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction in Colorado.
• Tri-State reiterates goals for regional transmission organization, reduced wholesale rates and
increased member power supply flexibility.
(December 1, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association would
more than double its currently contracted solar and wind resources by 2030, add energy storage, and
reduce emissions to help meet the needs of its member electric cooperatives and public power
districts, in the “preferred scenario” of its Electric Resource Plan (ERP) filed today with the
Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Tri-State’s preferred scenario includes 1,850 megawatts (MW) of additional renewable generation,
more than 200 MW of energy storage, and the retirement of its remaining Colorado coal units. The
CPUC will consider and act on the filing, and that process will continue into 2021.
“Our Electric Resource Plan filing demonstrates how Tri-State and our members can continue our
cooperative’s historic transformation to clean energy, while keeping power reliable, reducing our
wholesale rates, and helping Colorado meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals,” said
Duane Highley, Tri- State CEO. “We look forward to engaging with the Colorado Public Utilities
Commission and all parties in the regulatory approval process.”
Tri-State was joined by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Nov. 12 to announce that its preferred
scenario will reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its wholesale electricity sales in
Colorado by 80% by 2030, when compared to a 2005 baseline. The cooperative’s filing supports its
broader transition, which also includes a goal to reduce rates and provide more contract
flexibility for its members.
Tri-State noted that its ERP will be revised over time, as the cooperative implements partial
requirements contract options with its members, and in response to market, technology and
regulatory changes, which may influence resource needs over the next ten years.
“Our preferred scenario identifies potential resource options, including battery storage and
natural gas generation, but we do not have to commit to a path at this time,” Highley said. “There
will be time for emerging technologies to become competitive before we have to make acquisition
Tri-State also noted its continuing efforts with other regional power providers to evaluate the
expansion of the Southwest Power Pool’s regional transmission organization (RTO) into the West.
“To achieve the high levels of renewable integration in our Electric Resource Plan filing, it will
be necessary for Tri-State to participate in an RTO in the West,” Highley said. “In addition to the
benefits a fully organized market brings in integrating increasing amounts of new renewables on a
real-time and day ahead basis, it also includes regional transmission planning and cost allocation
that could provide for much needed, new regional transmission infrastructure, which is key to the
siting and development of new renewables.”
In addition, Tri-State has set a goal to reduce its wholesale rates by 8% by the end of 2023 and
has submitted its partial requirements membership option to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission for approval to
create increased flexibility for members to self-supply power.
Colorado Air Quality Control Commission accepts Tri-State’s voluntarily announced retirement dates for Craig Station
- AQCC supports retirement of Craig Station Unit 3 by 2030, to help meet visibility goals.
- In separate process, Tri-State’s Electric Resource Plan filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission identifies 80% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030.
(December 16, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association CEO Duane Highley commented on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s (AQCC) reopening of the record in its proceedings on the Colorado State Implementation Plan that addresses visibility in national parks and wilderness areas, and its decision to adopt the amended proposal from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division and several electric utilities, including Tri-State.
“We applaud the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission for its reasoned decision to accept the plan submitted by state regulators, which includes our voluntarily announced retirement dates for Craig Station Units 2 and 3.
“The plan will meet or exceed federal requirements to improve visibility in our national parks and wilderness areas, and our voluntarily announced retirement dates for Craig Station Units 2 and 3 will be established in state law and will become federally enforceable with U.S. EPA approval.
“In addition to supporting visibility, in a separate proceeding, Tri-State’s Electric Resource Plan filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) includes our preferred scenario with the retirement of Craig Station, the addition of 1,850 megawatts of renewable resources, and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that supports state goals.
“The retirement of Craig Station by 2030 requires significant collaborative efforts by the owners of the plant, and local and state leaders, to help impacted communities prepare for what can be a just transition. The AQCC’s decision provides the certainty needed to move forward.”
Tri-State will retire Craig Station Unit 1 by Dec. 31, 2025; Craig Station Unit 2 by Sept. 30, 2028; and Craig Station Unit 3 by Dec. 31, 2029.
Separate from the proceedings at the AQCC, on Nov. 12, 2020, Tri-State and Gov. Polis announced the cooperative power supplier’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado 80% by 2030 as part of its transformative Responsible Energy Plan, and to support statewide emissions reductions requirements. On Dec. 1, 2020, Tri-State filed its Electric Resource Plan (ERP) with the CPUC. The ERP included a preferred scenario to reach these emissions reductions.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states that together 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.