Generation & Transmission Cooperatives

Sangre de Cristo Electric Association is a distribution cooperative, purchasing wholesale power from Tri-State to deliver along our lines.

SDCEA is a rural electric cooperative; a member-owned utility that was established to provide reliable and affordable electricity by purchasing electric power at wholesale and delivering it directly to the consumer. SDCEA, as well as a network of cooperatives throughout the country, are primarily located in rural areas where the return on expensive infrastructure investment was not high enough to attract investor-owned utilities, such as Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy. Although electric cooperatives are not the dominant providers of electricity nationwide, they are the primary providers in most of the country’s rural areas.

To ensure an adequate supply of the cost-effective reliable power, distribution cooperatives formed generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives to pool their purchasing power for wholesale electricity. The G&T cooperatives provide wholesale power to their member-owners either by purchasing and delivering power from public or investor-owned power plants, or by generating electricity themselves. In SDCEA’s case, that G&T is Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which is based in Westminster, Colorado. SDCEA has a long-term electric power contract with Tri-State, which obligates Tri-State to meet all of our power needs, while requiring us to purchase a minimum of 95% of our power exclusively from them.