Concern about costs, push for more renewables fuels utility’s possible exit from Tri-State

Westminster-based Tri-State may lose utility over concerns about costs, renewables./The Denver Post

 

The Delta-Montrose Electric Association is looking at buying out its contract with the Westminster-based energy company

By Judith Kohler | The Denver Post

A western Colorado utility has voted to change its articles of incorporation in a move board members believe should provide the means to buy out its contract with Tri-State, an energy supplier under fire for what critics say is too much dependence on fossil fuels.

The Delta-Montrose Electric Association said Wednesday that the changes approved by its members will allow it to sell capital stock to nonmembers, helping it raise money if it pursues buying out the contract with Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

In 2016, the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in northern New Mexico paid $37 million to break its contract with Tri-State. At the time, the cooperative, which serves the Taos area, said it wanted to use more renewable energy resources locally and in the overall fuel mix.

The main reason the Delta-Montrose board is looking at ending its long-term contract with Tri-State is concern about costs, but increasing the use of renewable energy sources is another factor, said Virginia Harman, the utility’s chief operating officer.

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