“How can MVEA Co-op minimize it’s expenditures on “green” energy production since it is not cost effective and is not able to provide consistent adequate electrical power?”; “MVEA is heavily pursuing solar and wind power. It was mentioned in an MVEA magazine that members want MVEA to go this direction. However, I never recall seeing a survey or vote regarding this. Is this decision based on financial analysis (in which case, where can we see this) or on the opinions of a few outspoken members?”; “Please provide an update on Tri-State’s progress toward their Responsible Energy Plan.”

Tri-State Generation and Transmission is MVEA’s wholesale power supplier. As such, any change to their power generation portfolio to meet the requirements of regulatory policy is a shared experience.

In January, Tri-State celebrated the year anniversary of announcing their Responsible Energy Plan. “When we announced our REP with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis last January at the Colorado Capitol, we knew that it would be a difficult, but achievable effort to transform Tri-State into a 21st century cooperative,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State CEO. “We accomplished a great deal in 2020, but we have more work to do in the coming years.”

Renewable energy, gride resiliency, and reliability are hot topics that people feel very strongly about. For regular readers of Colorado Country Life magazine, this is a familiar topic. Since 2019, we have discussed Colorado’s rapidly evolving energy landscape: large-scale policy change driven by the decreasing cost of renewable energy, increasing support for an energy portfolio change by Colorado’s elected officials, the passing of House Bill 19-1261 “A Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution,” and the announcement by Tri-State, MVEA’s wholesale power supplier, to create a Responsible Energy Plan to meet regulatory demands. The changes started in 2019 were rapid, sweeping, and, at times, surprising.

We regularly receive questions and feedback from members who would like to see a more diverse energy mix adopted and a step back from the large-scale push towards renewable energy as a one-size-fits-all approach. They ask what they can do to slow or reverse the changes.

Transversely, we also regularly receive questions and feedback from members who support the energy landscape changes to a more robust renewable portfolio. “Keep adding more renewables to your portfolio,” is just as common a sentiment as the other perspective.

In recent years, power generation portfolio changes, that include significant carbon-reduction regulations, have been driven by voter demand and backed by legislative policy. And, the carbon-reduction regulations rely heavily on generation portfolio changes by the energy sector.

Whether you support or oppose the industry changes, we encourage all MVEA members to visit the Responsible Energy Plan page to learn more about Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan. Members may also find the following websites helpful: