Green power program recycles greenbacks
Tri-State sells more than 7,500 megawatt-hours of green power annually to its member systems in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. Since its inception in 1998, Tri-State’s green power program has steadily gained interest from the association’s member cooperatives.
This September, Tri-State's board approved a 50 percent reduction in the premium it charges member co-ops for renewable energy sources. The $2.50 per month premium charge on every 100 kilowatt-hour blocks per month of green power sold now only costs $1.25 per 100 kilowatt-hour block.
Driving the decision to lower the renewable energy premium was the 20 percent increase in the number of kilowatt-hours Tri-State sold in 2005, amounting to 1,841,800 kilowatt-hours of green power purchased by end-use consumers.
Last fall, Tri-State’s board asked that staff examine using excess revenue from green power sales to purchase Renewable Energy Credits, also known as green tags. By directing the funds to these new generation resources, the board’s goal is to encourage further development of renewable energy.
Tri-State collected more than $275,000 in total revenue from the green power program in 2005. To date, nearly $143,000 in excess funds were utilized to purchase green tags from a mixture of wind and small hydro sources. Suppliers include Basin Electric, PacifiCorp and Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska. Another $48,000 remains to be spent when the G&T finalizes an agreement with another supplier.