November 15, 2019 – The Energy Transition Act signed into law this year by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham requires all local utilities to get half of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. That’s prompting a shakeup among rural electric cooperatives, which serve more than 200,000 people in New Mexico, and with the wholesale supplier where cooperatives buy their power. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative chose to pay a hefty exit fee to get out of its agreement with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in 2016. That has encouraged other rural co-ops in Colorado to consider that option. Breaking away from Tri-State gives them more freedom to buy more renewable energy, which could provide cleaner, lower-cost electricity for their customers.
Also in the mix is a change in how Tri-State will be regulated. The wholesale provider will now be under federal regulation since it added its first non-cooperative member this year. That eliminates much of the oversight of this provider by state regulators, who otherwise might intervene if there is a push to raise rates on consumers. Albuquerque Journal reporter Kevin Robinson-Avila talks with NMIF correspondent Megan Kamerick about what this change could mean for New Mexicans.
Kevin Robinson-Avila, Albuquerque Journal business reporter
For Further Reading:
Changing Energy Landscape Shakes Up Rural Co-ops – Albuquerque Journal
Socorro, Others Battle for Control of Electric Systems – Albuquerque Journal
Tri-State Moves to Federal Regulation – Albuquerque Journal
Kit Carson Carves Out New Path for Renewables – Albuquerque Journal
Guzman Takes On Tri-State – Albuquerque Journal
Lawsuit Challenges Energy Transition Act – Santa Fe Reporter
Lujan Grisham Signs Landmark Clean Energy Bill – Santa Fe New Mexican