More electric co-ops to join exodus from Tri-State supplier contract

Three co-ops are already negotiating an exit settlement with the energy generator

Six rural electric co-ops are looking to leave their contracts with generator Tri-State – which has already seen some members leave.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association – a group of 43 US electric co-ops, has been locked in disputes with several members over the rules of departure, as co-ops look to leave contracts to pursue their own renewable sources of energy.

Members and campaigners have for some time been critical of Tri-State’s use of fossil sources of energy, although it has recently declared plans to move to renewable generation.

There has been much discussion in the electric co-op sector in recent years as co-ops stuck between pressure from customers to adopt renewable energy – which is also now offering cost savings as prices fall – and the long-term contracts they have signed with fossil energy suppliers.

A number of co-ops are trying to buy their way out of these contracts. Three Colorado co-ops – Delta-Montrose Electric Association, La Plata Electric Association and United Power, have already announced their departure from Tri-State, leading to a court battle over their terms of exit.

The six rural cooperatives looking to join the exodus are

  • Wheat Belt Public Power District of Sidney, Nebraska
  • Northwest Rural Public Power District of Hay Springs, Nebraska
  • Springer Electric Cooperative of Springer, New Mexico
  • San Miguel Power Association of Nucla, Colorado
  • San Isabel Electric Association of Pueblo West, Colorado
  • Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association of Fort Collins, Colorado