Tri-State issues request for renewable energy, reduces voluntary program costs
In a continuing effort to enhance its balanced generation resource portfolio, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association today announced it has issued a request for proposals for renewable energy supply. In addition, at the beginning of the New Year, the cost associated with the G&T’s 10-year-old voluntary green power program was reduced.
The RFP is a significant first step toward supporting Tri-State’s member systems in Colorado and New Mexico in meeting 10 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020, which the association anticipates will be accomplished by securing several hundred megawatts of renewable energy through a series of acquisitions over the coming years.
The RFP, posted on Tri-State’s Web site at www.tristategt.org/rfp, calls for resources that meet the definition of renewable resources set forth in both the Colorado and New Mexico renewable portfolio standards legislation passed in 2007. Resources must be deliverable into Tri-State’s transmission system via the western interconnection and be operational and available no later than Jan. 1, 2011.
“The integration of additional renewable energy into our generation mix accomplishes many goals set forth by Tri-State’s board, management and member systems,” said J.M. Shafer, executive vice president and general manager. “It will increase our amount of renewable energy resources while further strengthening and diversifying our overall resource portfolio. It also will put us and our member cooperatives in compliance with renewable portfolio standards in Colorado and New Mexico, which we supported, and it gives us additional energy that will assist us in meeting our members’ growing demand for electricity.”
Proposals, which must include specific generators of proven technology, are due to Tri-State in late March, 2008. Renewable energy certificates, or “green tags,” without associated energy will not be accepted under the RFP. Tri-State intends to execute project agreements or power purchase agreements by late summer of 2008. Bid evaluation criteria will include price, project viability and availability, financial viability of the bidder and transmission effects.
"At our 2007 annual meeting, we outlined for our membership a balanced approach to resource planning that meets the challenges of system-wide growth with a comprehensive set of supply-side and demand-side resources, investment in transmission facilities and pursuit of emerging energy technologies,” Shafer said. “Acquiring more renewable energy to incorporate into our system is a prime example of the many components that constitute our overall strategy.”
Tri-State’s plans for enhanced transmission infrastructure will also create expanded opportunities for renewable energy development across its service territory. Specifically, the proposed Eastern Plains Transmission Project in eastern Colorado as well as a proposed line into southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley would support renewable energy expansion in those areas.
Tri-State’s voluntary green power program, in place since 1998, also will continue to be offered for member-consumers who wish to further augment the development and use of renewable energy. Tri-State’s board authorized a change in the voluntary program pricing beginning in 2008, reducing the premium charged for 100 kilowatt-hour blocks from $1.25 to match current market conditions, aimed at providing significant savings and even greater participation in the program. Currently, 32 of Tri-State’s 44 member co-ops have consumers participating in the voluntary program.