Energy, Utilities & Water  May 22, 2024

United Power partners with Florida portfolio energy management company

BRIGHTON — The pieces of electric cooperative United Power’s split from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Inc. are slowly falling into place with United Power inking a partnership with Florida-based energy marketing and risk management services provider TEA Solutions Inc.

“United Power is excited for our revolutionary new energy future,” United Power CEO Mark Gabriel said in a news release Tuesday. “Our move away from a single, central power supplier will give us the flexibility and responsiveness that a utility needs to be competitive in the changing power market. We will be able to better meet the varied needs of our members and provide more predictable costs in the future.”

United Power is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that serves residences, farms and businesses throughout the northern Front Range.

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TEA Solutions provides portfolio management, regional transmission organization management and trading, bilateral energy trading, renewable energy forecasting and management and solutions to 50 clients with combined generating assets of more than 29,000 megawatts, according to its website.

The news release said the partnership “will provide for a variety of services on the power delivery side, including portfolio management, trading, and load forecasting. The full suite of services will ensure that the cooperative has adequate oversight of its multiple power sources and has an experienced team of specialists working to manage risk in the forecasting and trading markets.”

United Power and Tri-State officials had argued for years over rates, reliance on coal and how much United Power would have to pay to end its membership contract with Tri-State. Their split was effective May 1. United Power said its decision to break from Tri-State came from a need to integrate local power generation sources, such as rooftop solar. The release said that it also severed its relationship with Tri-State because United Power was paying for services that did not directly benefit its members. Both sides said the separation was good for their respective interests.  

“TEA Solutions offers a customized solution for electric utilities to provide the depth and experience we need to efficiently manage our power acquisition and delivery,” Gabriel said in the release. “We are excited to work with an experienced and accomplished team of professionals who, along with cooperative staff, were able to manage our transition smoothly and without interruption.”

United Power noted this month that the “cost of freedom” from Tri-State was $627 million and would be paid by raising rates from 6.1% to 14% for its members, set to take effect June 1 or thereafter.

Meanwhile, United Power shelled out more than $8.3 million to Tri-State to purchase the Colfer Substation near Hudson this month.

Trista Fugate, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for United Power, said the substation was just one of many assets United Power will acquire in its deal with Tri-State. 

“As part of the departure from our power supplier, we re-acquired $75 million of substations and related assets that serve United Power’s members,” Fugate said in an email response to questions Wednesday. “Colfer is just one of the 26 substations as part of the deal. These assets add to our balance sheet.”

United Power inks agreement with company that will help in its separation from Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

Sharon Dunn
Sharon Dunn is an award-winning journalist covering business, banking, real estate, energy, local government and crime in Northern Colorado since 1994. She began her journalism career in Alaska after graduating Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1992. She found her way back to Colorado, where she worked at the Greeley Tribune for 25 years. She has a master's degree in communications management from the University of Denver. She is married and has one grown daughter — and a beloved English pointer at her side while she writes. When not writing, you may find her enjoying embroidery and crochet projects, watching football, or kayaking and birdwatching on a high-mountain lake.
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