• La Plata Electric Association seeks to increase local generation

    Board approves resolution requesting Tri-State cap be raised to 10 percent

    The Board of Directors of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), today (Apr. 19, 2017), by unanimous vote, approved Resolution 2017-05, which empowers LPEA staff to open discussions with wholesale power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission to increase the cap on the amount of electricity LPEA can purchase from outside entities. LPEA hopes to increase the cap from 5 to 10 percent of its energy usage.

    “The LPEA Board and staff recognize the importance to our members both from an environmental and an economic standpoint to have more of the electricity our members consume produced here locally,” said LPEA CEO Mike Dreyspring. “We see this resolution as a first step toward increasing the opportunities for more local renewable energy projects.”

    LPEA, as well as all 43 members of Tri-State, which is a cooperative made up of distribution cooperatives in four states, has a Wholesale Electric Service Contract whereby LPEA has agreed to purchase at least 95 percent of its electric service, including capacity and energy, from Tri-State, with the remaining 5 percent being supplied through distributed or renewable generation that LPEA either owns or controls.

    With the increase in renewable projects in LPEA’s service territory – and growing interest in new ones – the cooperative is quickly approaching the 5 percent cap. In its committee meeting held on Monday, Apr. 17, the LPEA Board discussed options and reviewed the staff’s recommendation to pass the resolution to approach Tri-State about increasing the 5 percent cap. A number of concerned local citizens also attended the LPEA Board meeting today to voice support of pursuing such a resolution.

    “The LPEA Board of Directors values the cooperative model and seeks to work with Tri-State to address the demand for additional self-generation before exploring other avenues,” said Dreyspring.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, visit www.lpea.coop.