Tri-State supplies power to LPEA which then sells it to its customers. The electricity that Tri-State produces releases more CO2 per unit of power than all other power producers in the US except one. Tri-State has many coal burning power stations and therefore produces more CO2 to generate electricity. LPEA is contractually obligated to purchase 95% or the electricity they sell from Tri-State until 2050.
This has two implications with respect to solar:
1. The electricity you produce from your solar panels in Durango for example will offset more CO2 than the same production in a less polluting area such as PG&E in California. PG&E generates about 100 lbs of CO2 per MWH of electricity whereas Tri-State generates about 2,100 lbs of CO2 per MWH of electricity; about 21 times as much CO2 for the same amount of power!
2. The requirement to purchase 95% of the power LPEA sells from Tri-State means that they are legally blocking LPEA (and you and me) from purchasing wind, solar or natural gas generated power from someone else.
Tri-State might have their contract on their side now, but if they continue to resist solar and other renewable sources of power they will only hurt themselves in the long run.