Tri-State Generation

The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a wholesale electricity supplier. Originally founded in 1952, Tri-State was formed when 26 rural electric cooperatives came together. At the time Tri-State supplied power for 41,000 consumers. Today the association is owned by 44 electrical cooperatives, and services 1.5 million customers over 200,000 square miles.

Tri-State’s customer base includes portions of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Tri-State is headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, and employs 1,200 people over its service area. The power plants within the association are run primarily by coal and natural gas, although a significant portion comes from other sources as well. Tri-State receives hydroelectric allocations from the federal government, and also purchases power from other sources.

In 1976, Tri-State built the first DC Tie in Stegall, Nebraska. This allows power to flow between the eastern and western United States. Tri-State was also a founding member of the Touchstone Energy brand identity program, which eventually grew to include hundreds of electrical co-ops across the United States, and today serves 75% of the United States. Touchstone works to provide its consumers electricity at the lowest price possible. Tri-State is also committed to finding and using alternative sources of energy for the future.

In 2008, Tri-State and 23 other co-op suppliers formed the National Renewable Cooperative Organization to take advantage of renewable energy opportunities and work to meet energy requirements and goals laid out by the government. In 2009, Tri-State and First Solar in Tempe, Arizona agreed to develop the “Cimarron 1 Project,” which created a 30-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant on a 364 acre site in the New Mexico sunshine.

Despite its proud recent history of environmental consciousness, the supplier’s employment of thousands also undoubtedly allowed for these individuals to receive asbestos exposure, as virtually all power plants built before the 1970s utilized this material as an insulator. Inexpensive, plentiful and resistant to the heat, electricity and chemicals seen in such facilities, asbestos was a major component in these facilities until the consequences of exposure became widely known throughout the nation. Former employees of these plants are encouraged by many medical professionals to seek medical attention if they suspect they were exposed to this material in the past, even if they do not yet exhibit any symptoms of illness. Mesothelioma, one of the most deadly results of contact with asbestos, has symptoms that often mimic other illnesses and do not appear for decades, making diagnosis and successful treatment extremely difficult.