Tag Archive for 'capital credits'

Board authorizes $10 million capital credits refund

At the December board meeting in Westminster, Tri-State directors authorized a total of $10 million in capital credits to be refunded to the membership this month and during  January 2013.

MoneyCube“It is up to each eligible member to decide whether they wish to receive their refund this month or after the first of the year,” explained Pat Bridges, senior vice president/chief financial officer, during a presentation that he gave to the board.

“Currently, the association is in a 15-year rotation of equity capital retirements, so this money was earned in 1997,” said the CFO.

This time last year, the board authorized a $20 million capital credits retirement. This year marks the 24th consecutive year that the board has approved a capital credits disbursement to the membership. Continue reading ‘Board authorizes $10 million capital credits refund’

Wheatland REA kicks off member annual meeting season

Hundreds of Wheatland REA members attend its 75th annual meeting on Feb. 22.

Tri-State’s member co-op annual meeting season officially began last week in Wheatland, Wyo., with the 75th annual gathering of Wheatland Rural Electric Association’s members. It’s the first of 40 such meetings that will span the course of 10 months. “Historically, Wheatland’s annual meeting has always been in February because farmers are busy in early spring,” said the co-op’s board vice president Bill Teter.

Like hundreds of rural electric cooperatives across the United States, Wheatland REA has seen changes in the past 75 years that it could not have imagined when the original board was selected on June 7, 1937 and the first power was turned on later that year on Christmas Eve.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso was a special guest at Wheatland REA's 75th annual meeting.

General manager Chuck Witte opened the event, reporting that the association’s sales increased by just more than one percent in 2011 with the addition of new residential, irrigation and oil well service. Investments in infrastructure included rebuilt lines, substation upgrades and pole change-outs.

A number of special guests spoke at the meeting, including Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso, Wyoming Rural Electric Association executive director Shawn Taylor, Tri-State senior vice president/energy management Brad Nebergall and Wheatland High School students Caitlin Harris and Ashley Johnson, who spoke about their experience last summer at the Cooperative Youth Leadership camp.

Tri-State’s member services group also had a presence at the meeting, providing handouts, a lighting display and answering questions. “Any time we can get information to the members is a good thing,” said Wheatland REA member services manager Al Teel.

More than $173,000 in capital credits were returned to members this year.

Capital credits checks were returned to co-op members this year totaling $173,809 – contributing to the $5 million that has been returned to Wheatland REA members since 1988.

In a community such as Wheatland, where rural homes are often separated by miles, neighbors always seem to appreciate opportunities to gather together. “It’s good to see everyone in one place,” said lineman Jeff Loseke, “We usually only see the members about once a year.”

The final Tri-State member annual meeting for 2012 will be held in November at High West Energy in Pine Bluffs, Wyo.

Acquisitions, system improvements highlight 2011 activities

Tri-State’s purchase of the Fort Lupton Generating Station and the acquisition of Colowyo Mine by Tri-State subsidiary Western Fuels-Colorado, along with a flurry of field projects aimed at making improvements to the association’s power delivery system were among the major highlights of a very busy and productive year for the association.

Colowyo Mine uses two draglines and truck and shovel operations to extract coal for use at Craig Station.

Western Fuels-Colorado – a fuel supply cooperative in which Tri-State is the majority owner – officially became the new owner and operator of Colowyo Mine on Dec. 1, 2011. The northwest Colorado mine, which was already under contract to deliver up to 2.3 million tons of coal annually to Craig Station, is now aligned in an ownership role to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of fuel for the life of the plant.

During the same year-end time frame, Tri-State also completed the purchase of the 272-megawatt, natural gas fueled, combined-cycle Fort Lupton Generating Station in northeast Colorado. This plant, which employs 23 people, helps meet the association’s need to add intermediate generation and provides important load-following capabilities in a high growth area of the power supply system.

In order to meet continued member load growth, particularly in the areas serving expanding energy development, Tri-State maintenance crews and contractors were engaged in numerous transmission and substation projects throughout the association’s 200,000 square-mile power delivery system.  Among those ongoing projects is the Nucla to Sunshine transmission line in southwestern Colorado, which wrapped up its second year of a three-year timeline for completion.

The 56-mile, 115-kilovolt Nucla to Sunshine transmission project closed out the second year in its three-year timeline for completion.

Tri-State also is working closely with all of its members who have chosen to participate in the asset transfer of all or a portion of their 100-kilovolt and higher facilities to Tri-State ownership. This major undertaking will ultimately transfer up to 260 transformers and 500 miles of transmission line to Tri-State. The goal of the asset transfer is to improve reliability and help the association centralize and more effectively manage federal regulatory compliance rules.

The association’s generation fleet recorded an exemplary year in 2011.  In all cases, Tri-State’s generating units exceeded industry standards for availability, while plant and field location employees recorded improved safety performance at many Tri-State sites.

Late in the year, the Tri-State board authorized a payment of $20 million in capital credits to the member systems, marking the 23rd consecutive year that the G&T has returned patronage capital to its co-ops. In other financial actions, the G&T bolstered liquidity in 2011, through a new $500 million, 5-year credit facility. The funds will be used for working capital, capital expenditures and other corporate purposes.

Reflecting on the past year, Tri-State executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson said, “I believe we have a lot to be pleased about as we look back on a solid year of accomplishments made possible by our dedicated board, staff and membership. We’ll be facing many challenges going forward, but I feel we are well positioned to meet our goals and deliver on our mission as we continue to mature the programs and processes that we have in place.”

Tri-State returns $20 million in capital credits

Tri-State’s board of directors took action at its December meeting last week authorizing the retirement of capital credits to the association’s member co-ops in the amount of $20 million. This marks the 23rd consecutive year Tri-State has returned capital credits to its members.

As a cooperative owned by its member systems, Tri-State routinely pays capital credit refunds at the discretion of the board of directors whenever it determines that the financial condition of the association will not be impaired. Capital credit refunds are derived from money that each of the member co-ops have invested in Tri-State and are in excess of operating expenses and financial goals requirements within a given timeframe.

Distribution member co-ops are structured in the same way and also refund capital credits to their member-consumers. The exact amount that each Tri-State member co-op receives is based on the members’ respective shares of what they paid to the association during specific years.  “It’s one of many positive aspects of the co-op business model,” said Steve Lindbeck, Tri-State’s senior manager/controller.