Statement regarding Southern Colorado transmission project PUC decision

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association today issued the following statement in response to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge’s recommended decision today to grant the utilities’ applications for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the proposed Southern Colorado Transmission Improvements Project:

“Tri-State is pleased with Administrative Law Judge Mana Jennings-Fader’s recommended decision today to grant the utilities CPCN applications.

Tri-State, together with Public Service Company of Colorado, its partner in this critical project, are evaluating the conditions that Judge Jennings-Fader recommends be imposed on the CPCN for the project and will address those conditions, as necessary, in the further proceedings in the docket.

Tri-State is confident the proposed project best serves the residents, businesses, farmers and ranchers of Southern Colorado by providing access to a reliable supply of electricity, while facilitating the development of renewable energy.”

Additional Project Background

The proposed joint project builds on Tri-State’s previously proposed San Luis Valley Electric System Improvement Project. In 2007, Tri-State was planning lines from the San Luis Valley to Walsenburg to strengthen the region’s electric system, increase reliability for its two electric cooperatives in the region – San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative based in Monte Vista and San Isabel Electric Association based in Pueblo West – and support renewable energy development. That same year, Xcel Energy began planning for transmission projects to better serve renewable energy zones established by Senate Bill 100.

The new joint project addresses both utilities’ goals and provides additional transmission system improvements in southern Colorado.

The applications to the CPUC follow the two power suppliers’ agreement in October 2008 to jointly pursue transmission projects in southern Colorado. The project was identified through the utilities’ participation in the Colorado Coordinated Planning Group, a consortium of utilities and other stakeholders that jointly explore the development of a coordinated transmission network.

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