By Denver Business Journal

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Coloradoâ¿¿s second-largest electricity generator, said Tuesday it will buy a 272-megawatt natural gas power plant in Fort Lupton northeast of Denver.

Terms of the purchase of the power plant from affiliates of Starwood Energy Group were not disclosed. Starwood is a private energy investment firm based in Greenwich, Conn. The deal is expected to close in about six weeks, Tri-State said.

Tri-State is based in Westminster and provides power to 44 member cooperatives serving 1.5 million consumers throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Tri-State signed a 10-year contract in 2009 to get 150 megawatts of power from the plant to serve member cooperatives in northeastern and eastern Colorado. The remaining power generated by the plant is contracted to Xcel Energy Inc. until 2019.

⿿Our business model is built on certainty and stability,⿝ said Tri-State spokesman Jim Van Someren. ⿿It was our board⿿s decision, when the opportunity presented itself, to buy the actual asset rather than buy power under contract. It aligns well with our generating portfolio.⿝

The plant, built in 1994, employs 25 people, according to Tri-State.

Van Someren said Tri-State will honor the existing contract to supply power from the plant to Xcel.

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