DCED recently filed a comment with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) supporting Delta Montrose Electric Association’s (DMEA) request that FERC denies Tri-State’s request to charge a penalty for revenue losses when DMEA buys local renewable energy from Qualifying Facilities. A decision to support a rate penalty would essentially undue FERC’s 2015 ruling in favor of DMEA ability to purchase local renewable energy (DCED submitted a letter of support for DMEA on that ruling).
From the letter:
We are fully in support of DMEA’s position to deny Tri-State’s request. This request would make the purchase of renewable sources uneconomical. DCED strongly believes that DMEA’s ability to purchase renewable energy from QF’s will stabilize and strengthen Delta County’s economy. We are very much in need of economic help as we recently lost 600 of the 1,000 coal-mining jobs that have historically supported this low-income rural area (coal mining average wage is over $84,000 and county average wage is just above $32,000). As a rural community that is struggling, we feel that locally produced renewable energy is one of the key components that will help strengthen and diversify our economy. Delta County is filled with wonderful resources for renewable energy: solar, hydro, coal-bed methane and bio-mass – and the ability to help ourselves and “grow” our own energy will shift our economy. The capital investments would mean as much, over time, as what the mines represent.
On behalf of DCED’s membership and the people of Delta County, we ask that FERC denies Tri-States request for a rate penalty and instead support the decision made last year requiring DMEA to purchase local renewable energy from Qualified Facilities. This is critical to the future of our community.