Transitions in our industry

One of our primary functions is to provide reliable and affordable energy to our Members, yet we are more than an energy provider. Because we are a cooperative, our mission is to enhance the lives of our Members and to serve the long-term interests of our community. I think we are doing both by investing in renewable energy resources.

Renewable energy is not new, it’s been around for decades. If we look back 10 years and then forward 10 years, I think it is easy to see that the energy industry will continue to undergo a transformation as Member demand for more renewable energy sources grows, and innovation and technology continue to quickly advance.

The industry will continue shifting from one in which we have to ramp up and down power plants based on load – to one in which energy service companies like Trico will work with Members to ramp up and down energy usage based on availability and pricing of generation. This is a big shift, and we are just getting started down this path.

Why do I say this?

First, renewables – and storage – continue to decrease in price. For the past 50 years, our industry has operated under the premise that the bigger and more centralized we build things – like power plants, the cheaper the cost. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.

Second, in this industry we have seen that the next generation power resource has always been more expensive than prior ones. This is getting flipped upside down on us. The big picture though is that the market price of energy is cheap and the forward price projections look to stay that way deep into the 2020’s. (Note I say energy, and not capacity. Capacity is another story, as evidenced by high prices in the desert southwest during the peak hours of the summer).

We have reached a point that many didn’t think was possible not that long ago, which is that we have an opportunity to maintain our cost structure by incorporating renewables into our mix, either owned by a developer or us. And we are seeing in many states that we can incorporate higher percentages of intermittent resources into our portfolios than we once thought.

That’s a lot to think about, but with every challenge there is an opportunity! The changes we are seeing – and can anticipate seeing – I believe are opportunities to increase reliability and affordability for our Members, thus cementing us in your minds as a trusted energy resource.

GET IN TOUCH

FAX: (520) 353-1640

WHERE TO FIND US

Trico Electric Cooperative
8600 W. Tangerine Rd.
Marana, AZ 85658

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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