Approximately 400 electric cooperative representatives and industry officials attended Tri-State’s 62nd annual meeting April 2-3, in Broomfield, Colo., where they reviewed the wholesale power supplier’s performance and accomplishments, and addressed the numerous challenges and opportunities facing the electric utility industry.
At the meeting, the association’s board of directors was seated for the upcoming year, including the six officers and three at-large positions that make up the board’s Executive Committee. Under the cooperative business model, Tri-State’s board is made up of one representative from each of its member systems, serving as the democratically-elected governing body of the association.
Rick Gordon, representing Tri-State member co-op Mountain View Electric Association (Limon, Colo.), was re-elected chairman for a fifth consecutive term. Gordon originally joined Tri-State’s board in 1994 and served as vice chairman for 13 years prior to first being elected chairman in 2010. He has served on Mountain View’s board since 1992.
Tony Casados, representing Northern Rio Arriba Electric Cooperative (Chama, N.M.), also was re-elected vice chairman for a fifth term, after having served as an assistant secretary for nine years previous. Casados has served on his local co-op’s board since 1982 and has been on the Tri-State board since 2000.
Leo Brekel, representing Highline Electric Association (Holyoke, Colo.) since 2003 was elected to the position of secretary. He replaces Jim Soehner, who stepped down after serving in the position for the past six years. Soehner represents Y-W Electric Association (Akron, Colo.) and has served on the Tri-State board since 1991.
Stuart Morgan, who has represented Wheat Belt Public Power District (Sidney, Neb.) on the Tri-State board since 2007, was re-elected treasurer – a position he first assumed in July of 2012.
Wayne Connell, who has represented Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative (Mountainair, N.M.) on the Tri-State board since 2000, was elected to the second assistant secretary position for his first term. He replaces Bill Bird, who first joined the Tri-State board in 2004 representing member system Otero County Electric Cooperative (Cloudcroft, N.M.) is stepping down from the Tri-State board.
Matt Brown, who has represented High Plains Power (Riverton, Wyo.) on the Tri-State board since 2010, was elected to the second assistant secretary position for his second term.
The Executive Committee’s three at-large positions are being filled by incumbents Marshall Collins from Delta-Montrose Electric Association (Montrose, Colo.), Jack Finnerty from Wheatland Rural Electric Association (Wheatland, Wyo.) and Joe Wheeling, representing La Plata Electric (Durango, Colo.)
At the annual meeting, Tri-State interim executive vice president and general manager Mike McInnes reported strong performance in safety, power plant and mine operations, and transmission development and operations, and that Tri-State remains financially sound, returning $10 million in patronage capital to its member systems in 2013.
“In a regulatory environment that continues to put upward pressure on the cost of producing and delivering power, Tri-State is focused on managing operating expenses,” said McInnes. “The association is also focusing on the cooperative business model and strengthening relationships with its membership.”
Renewable resources are a significant portion of the energy the association delivers to its members. In 2013, 23 percent of member sales were from renewable resources. Tri-State delivered 15.3 million megawatt-hours of electricity to its members in 2013, while recording a member peak demand of 2,666 megawatts in July. Combined with off-system energy sales, the G&T sold 18.6 million megawatt-hours for the year and posted year-end revenues of $1.3 billion and assets of $4.6 billion.