Tri-State reaches deal for Eastern Colorado wind farm

BURLINGTON – Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. said Wednesday that it reached an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC for a 150-megawatt wind farm near Burlington.

Westminster-based Tri-State will purchase generation from the facility under the 25-year agreement for the Carousel Wind Farm. Tri-State supplies power to Fort Collins-based Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association and 43 other cooperatives and public power districts throughout Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

“The way our model works, all of our generation at the utility level essentially goes into one pot and is dispatched as needed to our 44 member cooperatives, including Poudre Valley,” a Tri-State spokesman said.

The Carousel Wind Farm agreement stemmed from a solicitation for renewable resources issued by Tri-State early last year, months before Colorado lawmakers approved a new mandate doubling the renewable standard for rural electric cooperatives.

The project will help Tri-State meet that mandate, as well as a renewable energy standard in place in New Mexico, but Tri-State called such mandates “unnecessary.”

“The not-for-profit cooperative’s resource decisions should be directed by its democratically-elected board,” the company said in a statement.

The NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary will construct, own and operate the Carousel Wind Farm.

Renewable resources generate about 23 percent of Tri-State’s energy, with wind contributing about 4 percent of the total. That figure does not include the Carousel Wind Farm.

Tri-State provides wholesale power to 1.5 million consumers throughout a total of 200,000 square miles in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

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