Delta-Montrose Electric Association and Tri-State Transmission and Generation, Southwest Colorado’s wholesale electricity supplier, have reached a settlement in a dispute over how much DMEA will pay to exit its contract with Tri-State.
Some electric co-ops, including La Plata Electric Association, were watching the dispute as one that might shed light on how contract negotiations would be calculated for leaving Tri-State.
LPEA is interested in buying out its contract with Tri-State, in part, because the wholesaler caps how much renewable power LPEA can buy from outside sources, limiting LPEA’s access to renewable power.
DMEA and Tri-State filed paperwork this week with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, announcing they had reached a settlement. However, the details of the settlement are subject to the approval of Tri-State’s and DMEA’s boards.
More information about the settlement is expected to be available through PUC filings at the end of the week.
Both Tri-State and DMEA representatives declined to comment for this story.
It’s unknown whether details of the settlement will be released, but LPEA officials are worried pertinent details as to how a buyout fee was determined will not be made public, said LPEA board President Bob Lynch.
“The concern is that it wouldn’t be very helpful,” he said, of the settlement.
If the case had been heard publicly at the PUC, it is more likely the case would have set precedent that would be valuable to LPEA, Lynch said.
Earlier this month, LPEA requested an estimate of how much it would cost to exit its contract with Tri-State. Tri-State officials plan to visit LPEA in August to discuss the request, Lynch said. However, LPEA has not decided whether to pursue a buyout.
Tri-State’s board voted this month to pursue federal regulation of its rates. It’s a move that could increase the cost and lengthen the timeline of a buyout case.