SDCEA Hosts Electric Cooperative Managers

By Paul Erickson, Chief Executive Officer

Paul EricksonElectric cooperative managers from the four-state region served by Tri-State Generation and Transmission met in July at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort for a meeting that was hosted by Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.

Tri-State supplies wholesale power to 43 electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming.

SDCEA purchases its wholesale power supply from Tri-State. Electric cooperatives like SDCEA enter long-term contracts with wholesale power suppliers so those wholesale suppliers may plan, finance and build the infrastructure necessary to deliver power over many years — for the foreseeable future. That infrastructure includes the development of power plants, renewable energy facilities, transmission lines and other infrastructure. Tri-State’s forecasting creates a long-term plan to meet the power demands of consumers in the future.

Tri-State’s newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer Duane Highley kicked off the two-day meeting with a report addressing a number of items that have been at the forefront of energy and environmental news coverage about Tri-State in recent months.

Highley’s remarks included a discussion of Tri-State’s bid to be regulated federally in lieu of balancing a patchwork of different regulatory requirements from the four states in which it operates.

Other topics covered during the meeting included how long-term contracts may be changed so SDCEA may provide renewable energy through more of its own local projects. Battery storage, Tri-State’s Responsible Cooperative Energy Plan, legislative processes, future environmental regulations and affordable clean energy were also addressed.