By Joe Smyth | email@example.com | @joesmyth
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association will hold its annual meeting during the first week of April, where member co-ops are expected to approve changes to Tri-State’s bylaws. But this year, members of the 43 electric cooperatives that buy power from Tri-State won’t be allowed to attend.
Emails from Tri-State’s CEO and board president provided inconsistent explanations for why members would not be allowed to attend the annual meeting.
In an email this week, Tri-State CEO Mike McInnes claimed that co-op members wouldn’t be allowed to attend “because of the growth we continue to have."
I am both sorry and thrilled that we are needing to start limiting the attendance at our Annual Meeting because of the growth that we continue to have. In the past, we were able to be more flexible with the attendance and as you mentioned, you were able to attend.
But an email from Tri-State Board President Rick Gordon to a Tri-State member co-op director made no mention of any space constraints, and instead bluntly stated “Our Annual Meeting is not a public meeting.”
Our Annual Meeting is not a public meeting. It is open to our member directors, managers, member system employees, and invited guests.
There will not be any opportunity to ask questions at the Annual Meeting. The Q & A portion of the meeting will be on Thursday morning during the membership meeting. This will again only be open to our member directors, managers and system employees.
Last year, a portion of the annual meeting was open to co-op members and the public. I attended the open portion of the annual meeting, and another co-op member received an email from Tri-State CEO Mike McInnes with a different message:
You are more than welcome to attend the annual meeting April 3rd and 4th if you desire. The Membership Meeting on the 5th is only for Tri-State members which includes the member Board of Directors and the member Managers.
Colorado law requires open meetings for all electric cooperatives - except for Tri-State
Under Colorado Public Utilities law, electric cooperatives must allow the public to attend meetings. Colorado Revised Statutes 40-95-108 state:
All meetings of a cooperative electric association are declared to be open meetings and open to the members, consumers, and news media at all times;
But a separate section exempts generation and transmission associations from several rules that apply to electric cooperatives, including the public meetings requirement:
For the purposes of this part 1, “cooperative electric association” includes a nonprofit electric corporation or association but does not include nonprofit generation and transmission electric corporations or associations.
Tri-State is the only generation and transmission association in Colorado.
Tri-State executive involved with anti-Clean Air Act group since 2005
US Congressional Committee requests details of Tri-State funding to anti-Clean Air Act group
Renewable energy projects stalled in 2018 among Tri-State member co-ops
Second co-op asks Tri-State to pull “Better Together” ads
Tri-State won’t allow co-op members to attend annual meeting
Tri-State expects member co-ops to support bylaw changes at annual meeting
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union calls on Tri-State to adopt flexible contracts and more clean energy
Co-ops in Colorado push for change at Tri-State
Will Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska remain reliant on coal?
Tri-State ad campaign tells co-ops they’re “better together”
La Plata Electric concerned Tri-State debt will lead to higher rates
Colorado Public Utilities Commission asserts jurisdiction over Tri-State
More Colorado co-ops announce clean energy goals
Ski industry climate change efforts shift to electric utilities and their regulators
Public Utilities Commission rejects Tri-State motion to exclude Colorado Energy Office from exit charge case
Tri-State claims that co-ops "have intervened on Tri-State's behalf at the PUC” don’t add up
Colorado state legislators urge Public Utilities Commission to determine Tri-State exit charge
United Power says Tri-State policies are turning away large customers
Next PUC Commissioner John Gavan "consensus choice" of Governors Hickenlooper and Polis
Tri-State policy change discourages battery projects in rural Colorado and New Mexico
Colorado Public Utilities Commission orders Tri-State to "satisfy or answer" exit charge complaint from Delta Montrose Electric
United Power seeks solutions to "increasingly outmoded G&T business models"
Clean Energy Means Business Summit highlights renewable energy opportunities and challenges in rural Colorado
Governor-elect Jared Polis says moving Colorado toward more renewable energy will be a top priority
Electric cooperative officials discuss cheap renewable energy and an “eroding monopoly”
Delta Montrose Electric members vote for new financing options, supporting a potential buyout of Tri-State contract
Poudre Valley Electric requests Tri-State policy changes and fuel mix study
Holy Cross Energy plans to shift away from coal, aiming for 70% renewable energy
What do corporate renewable energy commitments mean for electric utilities?
Colorado Energy Plan approval will mean new renewable energy investments in rural Colorado
Report: Tri-State could save $600 million by shifting from coal to renewable energy
Delta Montrose Electric seeks new financing options to end contract with Tri-State
Wind energy jobs in rural Colorado attract bipartisan support
Colorado Energy Plan analysis shows switching from coal to renewable energy will boost jobs and local tax revenue
Poudre Valley Electric and Xcel Energy Colorado President win national awards from Smart Electric Power Alliance
Latest coal plant subsidy proposal could hit electricity bills in the West
Moody’s report: “High quality renewable resources” could help Tri-State and Basin Electric navigate rising carbon transition risks
Senator Heinrich highlights “frustrations in New Mexico” with Tri-State’s limits on local solar
Moody’s report shows Tri-State’s coal plants are more expensive than new renewable energy
Tri-State’s limits on local energy development are a growing problem for co-op members
Governor Hickenlooper discusses Tri-State at the Climate Leadership Conference
Bids for Xcel’s Colorado Energy Plan include a proposal for the world’s largest battery
New wind and solar power in Colorado is now cheaper than existing coal plants
Companies' 100% renewable energy goals are getting results in Colorado
What does cheap solar mean for electric cooperatives?
Colorado towns and cities are helping push utilities to embrace renewable energy
How are electric cooperatives navigating the transition from coal to cheap clean energy?
Blocked from building more solar projects, United Power shifts to community batteries
Economic reality sets in for Tri-State efforts to expand the Holcomb coal plant
Solar projects in the works in Grand and Jackson counties
Mountain Parks Electric grapples with solar