Colorado Co-op Tri-State Buying Two Solar Power Projects

Colorado Co-op Tri-State Buying Two Solar Power Projects

Colorado-based electric cooperative Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association for the first time has purchased renewable energy projects that will provide power for its members. The co-op, a not-for-profit wholesale power supplier, on June 4 announced it was buying Axial Basin Solar, a 145-MW solar project in Moffat County in northwest Colorado near the Colowyo Mine, a coal mining operation that is slated to close within the next few years. Tri-State also is buying the 110-MW Dolores Canyon Solar installation in Dolores County in southwest Colorado. Tri-State is buying the installations along with JUWI Inc., part of the JUWI Group, an international renewable energy company headquartered in Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed. Axial Basin is in White River Electric Association’s service territory; the Dolores facility is in Empire Electric Association’s service territory.

Renewable Energy Target

Tri-State on Tuesday said it is among the first generation and transmission cooperatives in the U.S. to own large, utility-scale solar farms. The two projects are expected to begin delivering power for Tri-State’s member systems late next year, and will move the co-op to a milestone of 50% renewable energy use by its members. “Through Tri-State, our members now have ownership in solar at a competitive cost,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State’s CEO. “We greatly appreciate JUWI’s work with our team to complete this transaction for the purchase of these two solar projects.” “JUWI is excited to be working with Tri-State on two of the first 100+MW solar projects in Western Colorado,” said Steve Ihnot, CFO for JUWI Inc. “We look forward to executing the projects with the shared values of safety, quality, coordination with the local communities, and value to the customers.” Tri-State on Tuesday noted that since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022, not-for-profit electric cooperatives can receive direct payment of federal renewable energy tax credits. This supports cooperatives’ direct investment in renewable energy resources. Tri-State, and electric cooperatives in general, prior to passage of the IRA could not directly benefit from the federal renewable energy tax incentives available to for-profit investor-owned utilities and independent power producers. “I’ve worked for years to allow rural electric coops like Tri-State to access federal clean energy tax credits. The passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act made that possible for the first time, finally allowing them to own renewable energy projects,” said Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. “This progress will help Tri-State deliver enormous benefits to the rural communities it serves and support Colorado’s continued leadership in our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy.” “Senator Bennet’s leadership has made a real difference for our members, and for cooperatives across the country,” Highley said.

Other Tri-State Solar Deals

Tri-State also is adding another three solar energy power purchase agreements to its resource portfolio, deals that will be completed by year-end. These include two solar projects in southern Colorado (100-MW Spanish Peaks and 40-MW Spanish Peaks II) and one in New Mexico (200-MW Escalante Solar). At the end of 2025, Tri-State will serve its members with 680 MW of solar across eight facilities. JUWI has been involved in power generation for about 30 years, offering project development, construction, and operational management of renewable energy plants. The company has implemented more than 1,250 wind energy facilities with more than 3 GW of generation capacity. JUWI also has developed about 2,000 solar power plants, with total generation capacity of more than 4 GW.


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