WELCOME TO WHITE RIVER ELECTRIC
White River Electric is a consumer owned, non profit electric distribution cooperative. White River serves Eastern Rio Blanco County, including the Town of Meeker and the Piceance Creek Basin, portions of Northern Garfield County and Southern Moffat County. White River Electric headquarters are located in Meeker, Colorado.
WREA offices are open for your convenience from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday (except holidays).
White River Electric Sweetens the Season with a Power Rebate
‘Tis the season for giving and White River Electric Association, Inc., is giving back with a POWER REBATE. WREA’s Power Rebate will appear as a bill credit on member’s November bill that will arrive in the mail the first week of December.
WREA strives to maximize value for the membership year-round. WREA’s most recent effort comes in the form of WREA’s Power Rebate (also known as the capacity commitment program). WREA enrolled in the capacity program in 2014, and thanks to strong electric loads, WREA met all of the program’s requirements in 2014. This success will be shared with members on the November bill that arrives the first week of December. The Power Rebate will be issued based on each meter’s 2014 electric use. The average Power Rebate will be about one-half of a meter’s average monthly bill. All rate classes, including residential, small commercial and industrial, will receive the Power Rebate. Members with greater average electric use will receive a larger Power Rebate. WREA hopes the Power Rebate sweetens the holiday season for its members.
WREA’s General Manager, Alan Michalewicz, says the capacity program is limited and doesn’t know if WREA will receive the rebate in coming years. “While we can’t predict the future of the program, we are pleased to share this year’s success and hope it brightens the holiday season for our membership.” Please call White River Electric Association with any questions or see www.wrea.org for more information.
WREA Looks to Develop the Meeker Solar Garden
White River Electric Association, Inc., is pleased to announce that it is in the final stages of developing the WREA Meeker Solar Garden. Increased efficiencies in solar technology and declining construction costs made this an opportune time for WREA to build Meeker’s first solar garden. White River Electric is excited to join forces with the Meeker School District on the project since the Solar Garden will be located on land leased from the School District at the corner of Bob Tucker Drive and School Street (the old swimming pool lot). The WREA Meeker Solar Garden’s primary purpose will be to generate cost-effective electricity for the benefit of the WREA membership. In addition, it will also be used as an educational resource for the Meeker School District and a portion of the output from the panels will be allocated to the School District in exchange for the lease of the property, which will result in a corresponding reduction in the school’s electric bill.
The project requires a variance from the Town of Meeker and was examined by the Planning Commission on Monday, November 9, 2015, and will be presented to the Town of Meeker Board of Trustees on November 17, 2015. The proposed WREA site will be a 100 kW solar garden with approximately 398 panels. WREA will own, operate and fence the Solar Garden. Remaining available panels will be leased to members on an annual basis. Each leased panel’s solar production will be used to offset the leasing member’s electric bill. WREA believes that the Solar Garden is a fiscally responsible project that provides members with access to affordable, local, renewable energy.
Subject to Town of Meeker approvals, WREA plans to begin construction on the solar garden before the end of the year with panels available for members to lease by next spring. Specific details of the Meeker Solar Garden will be available by the end of the year with plans to advertise the solar panel leasing program in February 2016. Please call WREA with questions at 970-878-5041.
Colorado Country Life ~ November, 2015
Click the link below for the online version of the popular Colorado County Life Magazine for November, 2015.
Tri-State G&T releases "The People Behind the Power: Mining" video
via Tri-State G&T-
We believe that affordable and reliable power, responsibly generated and delivered, is the lifeblood of the rural West. Farms, ranches, small towns and resorts that our members serve are closely tied to the rural landscape and their power supply.
We understand the responsibilities that come with serving 44 member electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts that collectively deliver electricity to 1.5 million consumers.
Our strength comes from the diversity of our members,
the benefits of the not-for-profit
cooperative business model and innovative thinking that brings the best utility practices to
the farthest reaches of the West.
Colorado Country Life ~ October, 2015
Click the link below for the online version of the popular Colorado Country Life Magazine for October.
ColoWyo Mine Plan Approved by US Dept of Interior
September 4, 2015
Colowyo Mine Plan Approved by U.S. Department of the Interior
- Federal government completes court ordered review within 120-day deadline
- New mine plan replaces challenged plan
- Environmental assessment finds no significant environmental impact from mining operations
The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved and signed a modified mine plan for Colowyo Mine, which was subject to a federal district court order requiring the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) to update its environmental review of the mine.
In addition to the new mining plan, on August 31, 2015, the OSM completed a new environmental assessment for the mine, resulting in a finding of no significant impact on the environment from mining operations.
The approval of the new mine plan completes the effort by OSM to comply with the court’s May 8, 2015, order to complete the environmental review within 120 days. OSM’s counsel has notified the court that it has completed the environmental review and approved a modified mining plan.
“We are grateful to the staff at the Office of Surface Mining and the other cooperating agencies for their diligence and hard work to complete the environmental review within the short timeframe ordered by the judge,” said Mike McInnes, chief executive officer of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which owns Colowyo Mine through its subsidiary, Colowyo Coal Company.
“The unwavering support we have received from our 220 mine employees, the community and elected officials across Colorado helped ensure the Department of the Interior, from Secretary Jewell down, committed the resources and time necessary to complete this important work,” added McInnes.
Colowyo Coal Company believes the new mine plan allows the mine to continue to operate and the completion of the environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact and mine plan will satisfy the court, but it is uncertain how the court will proceed.
“The approval of the new plan should provide our employees and the residents of Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties with the confidence to move forward and focus on the future,” said Chris McCourt, Colowyo Mine’s manager.
Colowyo Coal Company is owned by Tri-State, which purchased the Colowyo Mine in 2011. Tri-State is a not-for-profit wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts that serve 1.5 million members throughout 200,000 square-miles of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Background on Colowyo Mine
Located in northwest Colorado, the Colowyo Mine produces over two million tons of low sulfur, subbituminous coal annually and is currently one of two primary fuel sources for the Craig Station power plant near Craig, Colo. Colowyo Mine operates in full compliance with all federal and state environmental requirements and has been recognized with numerous awards for its environmental and reclamation efforts and successes. In 2013, the mine contributed an estimated $206.7 million direct and indirect economic impact to the region and generated public revenues in an estimated amount of $12.0 million (federal and state royalties, severance tax, sales tax, property tax, etc.).
Background on case decision
In February 2013, the Petitioner (WildEarth Guardians) sued the U.S. Office of Surface Mining in the Federal District Court claiming that the agency failed to adequately provide public notice and address environmental impacts prior to mine plan approvals for seven coal mines in the Western U.S., including Colowyo.
Specifically, the Petitioner claimed the Environmental Assessment that OSM prepared to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act for the Colowyo mine plan was inadequate and asked the court strike down the current mine plan. Tri-State joined the lawsuit to assist the defense.
The Petitioner’s lawsuit against the OSM was not based on a violation of any air or water quality laws or regulations. The Colowyo Mine has responsibly operated its mining and reclamation activities since the mine plan was approved under the federal review process, and the mine remains in compliance with all state and federal requirements.
The issues raised in the lawsuit are related to whether OSM completed appropriate public notification and analysis required during a review of the mine plan issued in 2007. At no time during the case did the Petitioner argue that the mine should be designed or operated any differently than it operates today.
Judge R. Brooke Jackson heard oral arguments on April 24 and on May 8 ruled against OSM. In his ruling, Judge Jackson agreed with Petitioner’s claims that OSM did not involve the public or take a "hard look" at the environmental impacts of mining operations when the agency approved the Colowyo mining plan. Recognizing the potential effect of the decision on Colowyo Mine, its employees and the northwest Colorado community, the judge delayed vacating Colowyo's mining permit for 120 days to allow the OSM to address the deficiencies in the permitting process that he discussed in the order. During this time, Colowyo continued to operate.
Colowyo Coal Company believes the court’s decision against OSM was in error and is appealing the decision.
Links to OSM documents
Environmental Assessment (EA) with Appendix D Biological Opinion (BO)
Signed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
Signed Federal mining plan approval