Colorado Springs

Electric co-ops get shocking bills to break up with Tri-State Generation – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-07-22 06:15:00 –

Local electrical co-operatives leaving the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association will receive an exit fee quote in federal filings for a total of billions of dollars.

The price tags of the two Colorado Co-operatives at the forefront of the exit movement of the Brighton-based United Power and the Durango-based La Plata Electric Association were $ 1.5 billion and $ 449 million, respectively.

Eric Frankowski, Executive Director of the Western Clean Energy Campaign, an environmental organization, said:

Some of Tristate’s 43 member co-operatives have expressed a desire to develop cleaner, more self-cultivated electricity. They need to buy 95% of their electricity from associations that still produce significant coal-fired power.

“This doesn’t move the ball,” said Mark Gabriel, CEO of United Power. “I think they are off by three zeros,” he said of his co-operative exit fee.

The submission of the association is June decision According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Tristate’s exit policy was “unjust and unreasonable or unreasonably discriminatory.”

“Because of the lack of clear and transparent exit provisions, the Tristate was able to impose substantial barriers to utility members in assessing whether to stay in the Tristate,” said the FERC Reserve. The ruling states.

“It’s a shame that it took years to get a request to leave the Tristate and only under pressure from the FERC,” LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock said in an email. She called the co-operative withdrawal fee “outrageous.”

Nine member co-operatives have demanded a withdrawal fee from the contract by 2050, but all say it is for planning purposes only. Tristate refused to provide quotes for these exits..

Tri-State supplies wholesale electricity to co-operatives in four states: Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Co-operatives in all four states are demanding withdrawal fees. There are 17 members in Colorado.

Tri-State had 30 days to defend or revise its exit policy. In that answer, utilities outlined many of the changes they were making to make the process more transparent and predictable.

The association has abolished the requirement that co-operatives have to pay to obtain an exit quote and the provision that gives the tristate board discretion as to whether co-operatives are allowed to leave.

The calculation method of the exit fee is complicated

Tri-State also agreed to share the data used to calculate the charges and their methodology and provide an updated closing charge each year.

But at the heart of the controversy is the need to revise the method Tristate uses to calculate withdrawals and the association’s business model.

“We certainly support the effort of transparency,” said Gabriel. “The underlying problem is that they aren’t attacking the methodology and are serious between what they’re proposing and what we’ve been doing in business for a long time thinking about what to do. There is a break. “

In December, Tri-State announced $ 23 billion plan Transition from dependence on coal to more renewable energy. The plan aims to reduce tristate carbon emissions by 80% by 2030.

Tristate said its exit charges are based on a higher number of two calculations: the share of the utility debt exit co-operative, or with Tristate selling the co-operative by 2050. Selling a share of the association’s electricity withdrawal members in the wholesale market from the current value of all electricity. According to the company, Tristate’s total debt at the end of 2020 was $ 3.3 billion. Federal submission..

As a result, Tri-State has assets of $ 550 million, annual sales of about $ 300 million, United Power of $ 1.5 billion, LPEA of $ 449 million, assets of $ 36 million, and annual revenue of $ 1. That’s $ 114 million.

“The rest of the utility members must be in the same financial position as if the withdrawing utility members fulfilled their contractual obligations,” Tristate spokesman Lee Buhee said in an email. It was. “Even if a utility member moves out before the end of the 2050 contract period, the fees for the remaining utility members will be raised, income will be insufficient, and so on. Debt contract default.. “

The Tristate methodology for calculating exit fares has been challenged by eight co-operatives, including United Power and LPEA, in another case before the FERC.

According to Gabriel, Tristate’s largest co-operative with 100,000 customers, 6,000 solar rooftops and thousands of electric vehicles, accounts for more than 17% of the association’s total sales, and United is small. It is responsible for some of the larger co-operatives.

“I can’t say you’re subsidizing others,” Gabriel said. “It’s a really difficult argument.”

LPEA Matlock has “adjusted” the exit fees submitted, especially in light of the $ 37 million exit fee and $ 136.5 million given to the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in Taos, New Mexico, which left in 2019. It’s hard to do, “said the installment fee, which was awarded to the Deltamont Rose Electrical Association in 2020.

“The two previous withdrawals were the result of individual negotiated agreements, each based on its own circumstances, and the contract ended in 2040,” said Boughey.

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Electric co-ops get shocking bills to break up with Tri-State Generation Source link Electric co-ops get shocking bills to break up with Tri-State Generation

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