Opposition to Wheeling for LPEA election is uninformed

Friday, May 16, 2014 12:42 AM

On May 13 I put my husband, Joe Wheeling, on the plane to Denver for, potentially, the last time as LPEA's Tri-State representative. Please let me explain to you, the membership, something that the candidates who keep speaking out against "the old guard" are NOT telling you. Simply, there is a DIFFERENCE between "generation" and "distribution."

Tri-State Generation is the creator, the "generator," of the power we use. Tri-State also holds a legally-binding contract that requires us to buy 95% of our energy from the company. LPEA is the "distributor" of the power generated by Tri-State. Legally, LPEA is allowed to secure only 5% of our energy from local renewable generation sources. Joe has finessed his way onto the contracts committee at Tri-State and has been working to increase this limit. If Joe goes, LPEA will lose its hard-earned footing, and the entire membership loses.

You've also NOT been told that the electrical grid is not engineered for two-way transmission. Think of it like a river with the power flowing to us. How can water run two ways in the same drainage? Joe's opposition would like you to believe that we can each generate our own power, on our rooftop, and then send it back up the river. The infrastructure is simply not in place. It needs to be redesigned, and while we all want that to happen, it can't be forced like Joe's opposition insists.

Until the infrastructure is redesigned, Tri-State is our only option for 30,565 members (members without personal solar panels) to receive reliable power.

Jennifer J. Wheeling