OK, so it covers four states, but who's counting? Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association supplies wholesale electricity to 44 rural distribution utilities that serve about 1.5 million customers in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming (New Mexico was a late addition to the association's service region). The member-owned cooperative has a generating capacity of about 4,250 MW primarily from its interests in fossil-fueled power plants, and it operates more than 5,300 miles of transmission lines. Tri-State Generation and Transmission also purchases power and sells its excess supply to non-member utilities.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission operates in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Sales and Marketing
The Association has wholesale power contracts with 42 of its members through 2050 (and with two through 2040) whereby each member is obligated to buy at least 95% of its power requirements from Tri-State Generation and Transmission.
Revenues increased by 7% in 2012 thanks to higher member electric sales (due to higher volumes sold and rate increases) and increased Non-Member electric sales despite lower volumes sold (due primarily to the recognition of $10 million of previously deferred 2007 non-member sales revenues).
Despite the increased revenues, Tri-State Generation and Transmission's net margin declined by 25% in 2012 due to decreased other income.
Heavily reliant on coal-fired facilities, the company is moving to increase its renewable power in order to meet tightening environmental regulations. A part of its push to cut carbon emissions, the company has teamed up with First Solar, agreeing to develop a 30 MW solar power plant in northeastern New Mexico. The project, which came online in 2011, is the largest photovoltaic project undertaken by an electric cooperative.
That year Tri-State Generation and Transmission also signed a 20-year deal with Duke Energy through which it will purchase the production of a new 51 MW wind farm in Colorado.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission added to its wind power assets in 2012, signing a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy electricity from the 67-MW Colorado Highlands Wind project, the state's newest renewable energy project.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Boosting its conventional power resources, in 2011 the company acquired Thermo Cogeneration Partnership (TCP) and Greenhouse Holdings (GHH). TCP owns the 272-MW natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant located near Fort Lupton, Colorado. GHH owns a greenhouse facility in the same area. That year, Tri-State Generation and Transmission's Western Fuels-Colorado unit acquired Colowyo Coal by buying equity interests in owners Kennecott Colorado Coal Company and Rio Tinto White Horse Company. This deal ensures a reliable and affordable supply of coal to the Craig Generating Station in Colorado.
The company was founded in 1952.