Tri-State still has plans to invest $2.2 Billion in a 700 MW coal plant in Kansas. They can build that plant and create some jobs in KS and put a lot of money into Peabody Coal's pocket, or they can invest in efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout their territories and create jobs in your community. CforSE is organizing co-op member support on the Eastern Plains, in Northern Colorado and on the West Slope to hold our electric co-ops accountable to investing your dollars in your community instead of shipping them off to KS and Peabody Coal.
Community Solar Gardens are already generating energy in local co-ops around CO at half the cost of building the new coal plant in KS. And that doesn't include the cost of coal to fuel the plant. Of course, the sun don't shine at night. To provide energy when the sun isn't shining there are a variety of options: Micro Hydro (like at Taylor Res. in Gunnison), pump storage (Excel has this in Georgetown) which can use solar to pump water uphill during the day and then release it through a turbine at night, wind turbines, electric car storage (in the future), geothermal, mechanical storage, and a bunch of others. Each of these options creates local energy sector jobs. If absolutely need be natural gas can be used.
If Tri-State generates their 700 MW through solar gardens then they will still have another $1.2 Billion to invest in the above technologies. If they create a robust energy efficiency program like How$mart then they won't need 700 MW and can save even more money, plus reduce their members' bills, and create jobs for local efficiency remodeling contractors!
Tri-State is a co-op of co-ops. They are owned by you and the other 1.5 million Tri-State co-op members. Their mission is to provide you with reliable, low cost energy. Building a new coal plant does not fit in this mission and does not serve the needs of the members, but it's what they know how to do and it is a lot easier then learning how to do renewables and helping folks become more energy efficient. Tri-State employees (your employees) need you to direct them to invest in the future - efficiency and renewables. They need you to hold them accountable to doing the best job, even if it is something new and more difficult to do.
Email Tri-State and tell them to invest in local scale renewables and energy efficiency instead of a new coal plant.