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Denver Post:

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a wholesale power provider serving rural utilities in Colorado and three other states, has reached a settlement with several parties on a plan aimed at cutting costs for ratepayers and setting ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will consider Tri-State’s electric resource plan.

The plan charts the sources the Westminster-based power provider will use to generate electricity for its 42-member electric cooperatives through 2026. The proposal drew praise from environmental groups that previously have criticized Tri-State for relying too much on coal.

“It’s exciting when utilities and clean air advocates find themselves on the same page about what needs to happen to reduce pollution and save customers money,” Sarah Snead, with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Colorado, said in a statement.

About two years ago, Tri-State announced what it called its “Responsible Energy Plan,” which included significantly boosting renewable energy sources, closing its coal plants and slashing greenhouse-gas emissions from its operations.

The plan that will go to state regulators commits Tri-State to reducing emissions from its electricity sales in Colorado by 80% in 2030, based on 2005 levels. In the near term, the company says it will cut emissions by 26% in 2025; 36% in 2026; and 46% in 2027.

A 2019 state law requires utilities to map out how to cut carbon dioxide emissions associated with the power it sells by 80% from 2005 levels by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

[Judith Kohler]

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