Get Big Pivots

Denver-based wholesaler to deliver a third of power for Colorado’s second-largest electricity cooperative. Where will the rest come from?


Brighton-based United Power has picked Guzman Energy to become a wholesale supplier beginning in May 2024.

Under the agreement, Guzman will meet approximately one-third of the cooperative’s power needs. With approaching 110,000 members, United is Colorado’s second largest electrical cooperative.

As a result of its 900-square-mile service territory in the high-growth areas wrapping around the north and west side of Denver International Airport, United has had annual growth in electrical demand of 6%.

Where will the remainder of United’s power come from? It has not disclosed the answer. Trista Fugate, the chief marketing officer for United Power, promised that more announcements will be forthcoming.

A press release from United and Guzman stressed that the agreement features “fixed wholesale power pricing that provides the cooperative predictable and stable power supply costs.”

Mark Gabriel, chief executive of United Power cited Guzman’s “excellent track record of providing economical resources for cooperatives.” The company’s “commitment to integrating renewables will help us control costs while still keeping our eye on environmental impacts,” he added.

United Power service territory

United Power has nearly 110,000 members in a service territory that extends from the foothills west of Arvada to the oil-and-gas wells of the Wattenberg field. The star in this map is the location of United’s headquarters while the red dots represent offices in Coal Creek Canyon and along the I-25 frontage road between Firestone and Longmont.

The 15-year contract represents the biggest coup yet for Guzman, the Denver-based company that since 2016 has made a business of picking off electrical cooperatives and municipal providers currently supplied by Xcel Energy and Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

Guzman’s first major customer, in 2016, was Kit Carson Electric in New Mexico, which had been supplied by Tri-State. It then picked up Delta-Montrose in 2020. It is also scheduled to provide electricity to Fountain plus six other municipal utilities in southeastern Colorado. Those contracts have not yet started. Its most recent success was in picking up the business of two other electrical cooperatives that serve the Grand and Yampa valleys on the Western Slope.

But before United hooks up with Guzman, it must become disentangled from Tri-State. Gabriel has consistently declared that United will be legally gone from Tri-State next May. Before that can happen, though, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must rule on what formula that will constitute a fair and equitable exit fee when cooperatives leave Tri-State.

Also to be resolved in a lawsuit by United Power against Tri-State in Adams County District Court. The court had scheduled more than a week for the trial beginning in late June, but agreed with a Tri-State request to postpone the proceeding. A new date has not been announced. United’s Fugate said United plans to be gone from Tri-State next May regardless of the trial’s outcome or schedule.

Allen Best
Follow Me

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This