All not sunny with DMEA exit plan

To the editor,

As an electric “consumer-owner” of Delta-Montrose Electric Association I would like to comment on the situation between Tri-State and DMEA.

There are several factors the management and board of DMEA is withholding from the public and our elected officials.

Kit Carson Elec. is the only rural electric association to back out of their agreement since Tri-State acquired Colo-Ute in 1992, and then later Plains Electric in 2007. Shortly after Kit Carson exited the same agreement DMEA wants out of, Kit Carson had to file for, and received, a 21 percent increase in their rates. I understand Kit Carson is now in the process of filing for another 12 percent increase.

In 1992, in order for Tri-State to acquire the assets of the bankrupt Colo-Ute Elec. Assoc. and then again in 2007 to acquire the financially troubled Plains Elec., Tri-State was required to borrow millions of dollars. They needed a commitment from the member REAs’ in order to acquire these assets and provide reliable and affordable electricity. Hence the “contract.”

Guzman Energy is a power broker company. What they do is buy and sell power. My understanding is, they do not own one electric generating facility, either renewable or otherwise, and they do not own any power lines. While badmouthing Tri-State’s clean coal generation, Guzman will turn around and buy the cheapest electricity they can buy, and then resell it as renewable energy. Then the only way for DMEA to get power from Guzman will be to pay Tri-State to “wheel” the power over its transmission lines. Some of these power lines DMEA and several of the 44 co-ops turned over to Tri-State after the federal regulatory agency F.E.R.C. required that they be  maintained at a more reliable level in 2007. This is also an added cost and expense to Tri-State to maintain these high-voltage lines and large transformers that the REA’s did not want to take on. I know for a fact that Tri-State had to hire more people and purchase more equipment 

DMEA is falsely misleading people about renewable energy. I can’t help but wonder what will happen when we, as tax-paying citizens, stop subsidizing wind and solar generation at the rate of 50 percent or more.

DMEA has complained about Tri-State’s purchase of coal mines. Tri-State’s board, on which DMEA has a representative, decided to buy the Colo.-Wyo. mine solely to keep the cost of fuel constant and as low as possible for the long term. I hope these facts might help people to understand and maybe wonder like I do, why DMEA is the only REA out of 44 members that wants to back out of the contract they signed in 1992.

– Stan Hoover, Montrose, via e-mail