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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Rural Colorado Electric Battle Could Have Wider Implications

Theodore Scott
Flickr Creative Commons

A battle over local power in rural Colorado could have national implications, reports the The Rural Blog.

A small electric co-operative in Montrose, Colorado, is battling its supplier over how much local power it should be able to get from sources other than the big power company. The Delta-Montrose Electric Association is one of 43 rural utilities in four states that buy power from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Under the agreement, the small co-op must buy 95% of its power from Tri-State. Tri-State supplies the power from its large, centralized power plants, often fired with coal. But with the advent of wind and solar technologies, many smaller power co-ops are looking to break the contract and pull more power from local renewable sources.

But when one company tries to supply more power locally, other co-ops have to make up the profit loss for the provider. And that’s where the