Tri-State to advance closure of coal-fired plants

WESTMINSTER — Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the cooperative that supplies wholesale electric power to utilities around the region, will close all its New Mexico and Colorado coal-fired power plants earlier than expected because of pressure from its customers.

The co-op said it would close its last New Mexico coal-fired plant by the end of 2020 and its Colorado coal-fired plants and its coal mine by 2030. The closures affect about 600 power plant and mine workers, the company said in its announcement of its plans.

Meanwhile, it is stepping up efforts to replace the power from those plants with renewable sources, a demand made by multiple member-customers, who threatened to leave the co-op if it didn’t increase the speed at which was adding green resources. 

“Serving our members’ clean energy and affordability needs, supporting state requirements and goals, and leading the fundamental changes in our industry require the retirement of our coal facilities in Colorado and New Mexico,” Rick Gordon, chairman of the board of Tri-State and a director of Mountain View Electric Association in eastern Colorado, said in a press release. 

Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State, said actions to be taken under its Responsible Energy plan would be discussed next week. 

“The low costs of renewable energy and operating cost reductions help to counterbalance the cost to retire our coal assets early,” Highly said.

Tri-State is the wholesale supplier of electricity to the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association Inc. and United Power Inc. in Northern Colorado.

 

WESTMINSTER — Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the cooperative that supplies wholesale electric power to utilities around the region, will close all its New Mexico and Colorado coal-fired power plants earlier than expected because of pressure from its customers.

The co-op said it would close its last New Mexico coal-fired plant by the end of 2020 and its Colorado coal-fired plants and its coal mine by 2030. The closures affect about 600 power plant and mine workers, the company said in its announcement of its plans.

Meanwhile, it is stepping up efforts to replace the power from those plants with renewable sources, a demand made by multiple member-customers, who threatened to leave the co-op if it didn’t increase the speed at which was adding green resources. 

“Serving our members’ clean energy and affordability needs, supporting state requirements and goals, and leading the fundamental changes in our industry require the retirement of our coal facilities in Colorado and New Mexico,” Rick Gordon, chairman of the board of Tri-State and a director of Mountain View Electric Association in eastern Colorado, said in a press release. 

Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State, said actions to be taken under its Responsible Energy plan would be discussed next week. 

“The low costs of renewable energy and operating cost reductions help to counterbalance the cost to retire our coal assets early,” Highly said.

Tri-State is the wholesale supplier of electricity to the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association Inc. and United Power Inc. in Northern Colorado.