La Plata Electric Association members wanting cheaper and cleaner electricity are excited to hear that LPEA’s expensive, coal-centric wholesale provider Tri-State Generation, received a major offer from Guzman Energy.
Chris Riley, President of Guzman, said they would “finance the early shutdown of (three Tri-State owned) coal plants, giving Tri-State a substantial cash infusion, in the vicinity of a half-billion dollars, and we would replace the (coal-based) portfolio with in excess of 70% renewables.”
Guzman’s offer allows reduced rates for us cooperative members, covers the high costs of dismantling and remediating three coal plants (which represent about half of Tri-State’s coal generation, 800 megawatts), and could assist communities affected by early retirement of the coal units.
Those of us familiar with Tri-State’s shaky financial footing (with no escape visible from their $3.4 billion debt) recognize the heaven-sent quality of such an offer.
This is doubly true in light of new laws adopted in both New Mexico and Colorado this year.
Rural electrical cooperatives are now required to meet new renewable energy standards of 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040 in New Mexico.
In Colorado, large utilities must file plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 80% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Both laws dramatically impact Tri-State’s coal-heavy operations.
In an Energy News article, Allen Best notes that Guzman would “help Tri-State’s member co-ops build smaller but more dispersed electricity generation” which would “help local communities benefit by using local labor and resources.”
Lower rates, local industry, and cleaner energy all sound good.
Tri-State, please accept.