Learning valuable skills at Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp

The annual Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp, sponsored in part by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, brought together nearly 100, 16 to 18-year-olds at Glen Eden Resort near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. From July 17-22, kids were given the opportunity to learn about the electric cooperative business model through educational sessions and activities. To participate, students from Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas completed an application and review process determined by their local co-op, which pays all costs for those elected to attend.

Cooperative Youth Leadership Campers

Campers at the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp near Steamboat Springs

The week kicked off with the campers creating a co-op, which they joined by paying a fee of 50 cents. Members then elected a board of directors, hired a general manager and held meetings, where minutes were taken and committees created. Committee members were charged with various responsibilities, such as organizing a volleyball tournament or the mid-week dance.

Michelle Pastor, Tri-State senior education program advisor, commented, “I was impressed with the leadership, speaking ability and confidence these kids came with. They were asked to get up and present in front of more than 100 people and they did it well.”

Camp counselors, who led activities and learning sessions focused on leadership and motivation, were volunteer staff from Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas co-ops, Colorado Rural Electric Association and Tri-State. In addition to educational activities, the group made the most of being in the mountains. Outdoor adventures included rafting the Colorado River, a tour of Craig Station and Trapper Mine, a hike to Fish Creek Falls and a trip to nearby Steamboat for ice cream.

Cooperative Youth Leadership Campers hike to Fish Creek Falls

Campers hiked to Fish Creek Falls

The week culminated in a camp-formal banquet, giving campers and counselors the opportunity to reflect on the experiences of the week. It was also during this final meeting that the cooperative they formed earlier was officially dissolved, bringing mixed emotions. “They really got into their roles and were tied to the success of the organization they created together,” Pastor said.

United Power delivers new construction rebates to local business

Rebates are not just for upgrades to light fixtures in older buildings, also known as retrofits. New construction can tap into energy rebates during the design phase of a building. As long as you lease or own the facility, all it takes is some pre-construction planning for you and your business to save money on electricity for years to come.

Light fixtures at FCI Constructors

Interior light fixtures in the lobby of FCI Constructors Headquarters

We recently followed United Power’s Bill Meier as he delivered a rebate check to FCI Constructors, Inc., who moved their headquarters to a new building off I-25 in Frederick earlier this year. FCI worked with Meier to receive more than $5,000 in rebates by installing energy-saving interior LED lights and pole-mounted LED fixtures in the parking lot of their new facility.

FCI Vice President Jeff Erker accepted the check and took us on a short tour of their new facility. As we descended the back staircase, Meier compared the functionality of the new lights to older fixtures and how upgrades help companies save money in more ways than one.

Older fixtures use a ballast to ignite gases and need time to warm up to operate effectively, leading to spikes in electric usage when they are switched on. Thanks to LED technology, newer fixtures put out more lumens at lower wattage and create significantly less heat which leads to savings in HVAC costs. Perhaps the biggest benefit comes with the improved lighting quality and reduced maintenance costs. The fixtures chosen by FCI come with a five-year warranty, but Meier expects they will last twice that long.

If you’re a business in the United Power area, contact the Community Affairs Representative that serves your region. Bill Meier, Jay Mendoza or Tom Green can help with your existing service, upgrades to your facility or integrate LED lighting into your new building’s blueprints.

Lighting rebate check presentation

United Power’s Bill Meier presents FCI Constructors’ Jeff Esker with a lighting rebate check

Colowyo Mine – big on safety

Safety is big at Colowyo Mine

Colowyo Mine celebrated two years with no lost-time accidents which is no small feat!

Do you remember what you were doing April 9, 2014? UConn fans celebrated their second of two basketball titles in as many days, and Colowyo Mine started on their way toward more than 800,000 hours without a lost-time accident. Because of their daily dedication to safety, Colowyo’s 212 employees are being recognized for not just those two years, but also for one full year with no reportable incidents.

Colowyo Mine’s health and safety manager Stephen Laramore explained that “the hazards on the big jobs and bad weather days are obvious and easier to recognize. Trying to keep complacency from drifting in when you’re doing the same job you’ve done hundreds of times is the real challenge.”

Tri-State would like to extend our congratulations to everyone at Colowyo for their commitment to keeping each other safe in this unique and difficult work environment – here’s to another two years of greatness!

McInnes testifies on Clean Power Plan at Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing

Tri-State CEO Mike McInnes

Tri-State CEO Mike McInnes

US Capitol Building, Washington DC – Tri-State works hard to keep electricity reliable and affordable for our members, and part of that effort includes the thorough review of any new regulations that would impact our industry.

Helping to elevate our association’s perspective to a national level, CEO Mike McInnes recently provided testimony at a hearing on the “Implications of the Supreme Court Stay on the Clean Power Plan” before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. 

In his testimony to the committee on June 9, McInnes emphasized how, “as a cooperative, Tri-State operates differently and has different risks compared to investor-owned and municipal utilities, a fact EPA ignored in the Clean Power Plan and why Tri-State and other cooperatives were active in the rulemaking process and challenged the rule in court.”

Unlike investor-owned utilities whose rate of return gives these utilities an incentive to build new infrastructure, cooperatives and their members bear the full cost of compliance. These costs are spread over fewer customers. Typically, cooperatives have 1-11 consumers per mile while investor-owned and municipal utilities average more than 35.

McInnes explained the efficiency of Tri-State’s coal generation fleet, the association’s significant investments in renewables and energy efficiency, and the challenges of operating across five states with varying responses to the stay of the Clean Power Plan.

Following the attention received by an article in Cornerstone Magazine by Barbara Walz, Tri-State senior vice president Policy & Compliance and chief compliance officer, McInnes was invited to testify before the committee. The article outlined the unique challenges cooperatives face with the Clean Power Plan as they work to deliver affordable electricity to members in rural communities.

Read McInnes’ testimony or watch the archived webcast of the hearing.

Getting Schooled on Rebates

The Lake City Community School in southwest Colorado contacted their power provider Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) about rebates to upgrade their building lights to more efficient LEDs. As a co-op member, they worked with Energy Use Specialist Alantha Garrison to move forward with the free audit process.

Lake City Community School saves with rebates

Lake City Community School saved over $100,000 through partnerships and rebates

While conducting energy audits at other businesses in Lake City, Kirk McKnight of Cooperative Lighting Business Partners (CLBP) and Gary Myers from Tri-State Generation & Transmission stopped by the school and met with Superintendent Dr. Leslie Nichols. The school had received an estimate for a lighting upgrade but could not justify the price tag of $160,000.

Dr. Nichols worked with CLBP to buy materials directly and install them at a significantly lower price closer to $25,500. On top of the six-figure installation savings, Lake City Community School also received a rebate of over $3,500. The Superintendent highlights several success factors resulting from this partnership between the school, CLBP, GCEA and Tri-State; the ease of using the rebate program, McKnight’s patience throughout the installation process as orders changed, quality of the fixtures, a reduction in energy use, affordability and the rebate that Lake City Community School ultimately received.

This program in particular highlights what can be accomplished when businesses and utilities work in the cooperative spirit to help members achieve their energy efficiency goals and realize otherwise unaffordable infrastructure upgrades. If you’re a business owner in the LPEA service area with questions about rebates for improvements to energy efficiency, contact Energy Use Specialist Alantha Garrison at 970-641-3520.

Award wasn’t built in a day

The Platte County Chamber of Commerce in Wyoming recently celebrated Wheatland Rural Electric Association’s (WREA) commitment to the area with their Community Builder of the Year award. Over the past 12 months, WREA has found a number of ways to partner with other local businesses to increase the effect of their contributions.

Students with science exhibit and co-op General Manager

Jaimie Wardell and Raegan Harnish explain their science fair project to WREA General Manager Donald Smith

WREA encourages kids’ interest in science by sponsoring a team in the local, regional, and state science fair competitions for middle school students. Their 8th grade team won 1st place at all three competitions. Continuing its efforts to promote and encourage science, WREA uses one of its bucket trucks to help with the 8th grade science class’ egg drop contest. Last year, in support of West Elementary School’s “Science Day,” WREA welcomed a visit from Power and sponsored a presentation of “The Story Behind the Switch.”

The organization also has a strong educational program about electrical safety for students of all ages at the schools in their service area, reaching about 1,500 people every year. WREA employees present classes about electricity and the grid as guest instructors at local schools. In addition to these contributions, WREA also provides annual scholarships to high school graduates.

Many community groups and organizations benefit from their sponsorships and involvement by employees; the Platte County Fair, 4-H clubs, local church groups, Lions Club, Platte County Legacy Home, and the Special Olympics.

WREA’s involvement in these enterprises goes beyond simple volunteering or donations, their presence helps raise awareness for a number of local and national charitable efforts – the ALS Association, Marge Cares Foundation, Moose Lodge, and Platte County Memorial Hospital.

Platte County's Career Fair

WREA’s inaugural career fair drew interest from hundreds of students and residents from all around Platte County

This year marked two special events for WREA – the inaugural Community Career Fair and Dancing with the Stars Platte County Style. The career fair drew over 300 students and adults from around Platte County. At Dancing with the Stars, WREA Office Manager Rhonda Apodaca earned the prestigious title of “Best Tumbler” for her grace and style during pre-show practices.

The Platte County Chamber of Commerce honored WREA for these and many other contributions to the community with their Community Builder of the Year award. We would like to extend our congratulations to the member-owners in this area for their ongoing commitment to improving the lives of their friends, neighbors and co-workers.

24/7 Savings

When your business stays open all day every day, even the smallest costs can quickly multiply. Don Roberts at Fitness Solutions 24-7 in Durango knows this firsthand, and he took steps to reduce operating costs when he opened for business in 2008.

Roberts chose to renovate a vacant restaurant building for his fitness center, opting for recycled materials and low-flow water fixtures on the inside and roof-mounted solar panels on the outside. He also decided to give back to the community by participating in Round Up and the Green Power program from La Plata Electric Association (LPEA).

Big fans and bright lights help one Colorado business save money

Fitness Solutions 24-7 owner Don Roberts showcases some of the energy efficient solutions at his business. Photo courtesy of Indiana Reed & LPEA

Fitness Solutions is just a few blocks from the LPEA offices and their resident LED lighting guru Ray Pierotti. He anticipated the business would benefit from longer-lasting and more efficient fixtures and approached Roberts with the suggestion of installing LEDs when the original bulbs were ready to be replaced.

Pierotti convinced Roberts to install 41 fluorescent fixtures with new LED T-5 lamps. After a rebate from LPEA for the bulbs, the total cost came to $3,320 and LPEA estimated Fitness Solutions would see a return on this investment in less than six months. That timeline moved up considerably when Roberts received his first bill after the installation and calculated a 40 percent energy savings compared to the previous year. He estimates Fitness Solutions will save over $7,500 on their electric bill on an annual basis and enjoys knowing he’s doing something good for the environment.

To learn more about LPEA’s Round Up, Green Power or LED lighting programs visit www.lpea.coop. If you live in the LPEA service area and want to learn how to save money with LED lighting fixtures, contact Ray Pierotti at 970-382-7770.

Article based on a piece published by LPEA in Colorado County Life’s October 2015 edition

Annual Community Outreach

Annual Community Outreach

If you’re having a hard time engaging member-owners to attend annual meetings or participate in the voting process, take a look at what Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (CDEC) has done to encourage mutual benefits for their cooperative, members and community.

CDEC teams up with hospital to host a family wellness event

CDEC teams up with its local hospital to host a wellness and safety fair at the co-op’s annual meeting. More than 50 healthcare vendors participate and set up prior to the co-op’s member registration.

CDEC has partnered with Cibola General Hospital to host a health & safety fair to coincide with their annual meeting for the past six years. The success of this led to a partnership with the Grants/Cibola County Chamber of Commerce, also holding a “Shop Local” showcase at the event for the past four years.

This alliance has benefited the co-op, member-owners, Cibola General Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce. Cibola General Hospital Director of Marketing Cynthia Tena said “We were able to give all age ranges, from babies to seniors, great information about health and get them on track to being healthy… We were able to put on a beneficial event for our community.”

Cibola General Hospital offered free and discounted lab work, hosted CPR demonstrations and provided free child safety-seat fittings. During the safety fair, there is a lifeguard helicopter landing and a go-cart DWI demonstration with the Grants Police Department. In the past, the event has also included, National Parks Service’s “Junior Ranger Day,”a Fun Run at the high school track and a petting zoo.

Like all co-ops, CDEC set a goal to meet quorum for this event – they wanted at least 553 members to attend so official business could be conducted – and they were pleased to register close to 600 individuals. We’d like to extend our congratulations to CDEC members and staff for turning its annual meeting into a positive community outreach opportunity!

Rio Rancho’s Award-Winning Transmission Maintenance Team

Tri-State’s Transmission Maintenance South Team based out of the Rio Rancho office recently celebrated 97,348 employee hours without a lost-time case – spanning an entire year from late March 2015-2016. To honor this achievement, the National Safety Council presented the team with a Perfect Record Award.

This team has several processes in place to keep safety top-of-mind and their commitment to this cause continually improves the environment for all employees. They meet weekly and monthly for training and adhere to the SafeStart program to make sure all employees are ready to work and focused on the task at hand.

We’d like to congratulate Rio Rancho’s Transmission Maintenance Team on their success and wish them luck on another year free of injury!

Award-winning transmission maintenance team

Rio Rancho Transmission Maintenance South Team

A bright new way to offer rebates

Relight Mountain Village Project

Power with an LED light bulbLate last year, the town of Mountain Village and San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) chose a unique solution when offering their residents rebate savings on LED bulbs. The Town designed a website for the Relight Project, preprogramming the page with SMPA member account numbers along with rebate program rules and regulations.

Residents could visit the completed page to place an order for LED light bulbs using their member account number. SMPA collected orders over a four-week period and reviewed the transactions before submitting the order to Tri-State Generation & Transmission for processing. The LED light bulbs arrived to Mountain Village in one shipment and were distributed at a central location on a designated pick-up day or left at the Town Hall for residents to pick up.

San Miguel County Greenlights Program

San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) received such positive feedback from the Relight program, they extended a similar one to all of San Miguel County (including Telluride and Ridgway) called Greenlights. They used a unique website preloaded with rebate rules and member account numbers to handle LED light bulb purchases. One key difference between Greenlights and Relight was the frequency that orders were processed – for Greenlights this happened weekly instead of at the end of the four-week purchase cycle.

Both programs enjoyed a successful run that resulted in about 150 residents receiving rebate checks for their purchase of LED light bulbs. Consider speaking with your Member Relations Manager if your co-op is looking for new or innovative rebate ideas!

Raising funds for The Festival of Hope

For over ten years, Chimney Rock Public Power District (CRPPD) customers facing cancer have reached out to The Festival of Hope for help paying their mortgage or rent and utility bills. This year CRPPD gave back to The Festival of Hope by raising over $2,000 in a community raffle.

The Festival of Hope is a volunteer organization that helps cancer patients in the Regional West Medical Center service area pay their non-medical expenses. Gifts such as these allow patients and their families an opportunity to focus their time and finances on getting well.

If you’d like to donate your time or make a contribution to The Festival of Hope, the next event is scheduled for Saturday June 18 at the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds in Mitchell, Nebraska. Visit their website for a full event schedule or for information on how to volunteer. If you or someone you know in the Panhandle or eastern Wyoming is facing cancer and needs financial assistance, The Festival of Hope may be able to help. Use the links provided in this piece to visit their website for details on applying, FAQs and contact information.

Empire Electric Delivers Rebates

What happens when Empire Electric and their member-owners work together? A whole lot of savings!

Recently Empire Electric’s General Manager Josh Dellinger and Engineer Wendell Fry visited three members, presenting them with rebate checks for installing energy efficient equipment. This new equipment is going to lower energy usage and electric bill for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at what these three members chose for their efficiency upgrades.

Montezuma-Cortez High School

High school receives rebate check from Empire Electric

Empire Electric General Manager Josh Dellinger presents the rebate check to M-CHS Superintendent Alex Carter

The Montezuma-Cortez High School (M-CHS) installed a Ground Source Heat Pump in the new school building. M-CHS received $69,200 from Empire Electric and Tri-State Generation & Transmission, for a total rebate of $138,400. Heat transfer in the system is so good they were able to reduce the number of wells, and the entire operation can be managed by computer, iPad or phone.

M-CHS Superintendent Alex Carter noted, “The rebates are incredible and a real game changer for us.” He also noted that this building was designed not just for today but for the future as well. The school has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Status – meaning it is an energy efficient and environmentally friendly building at its core. “The community really delivered when it decided to provide our students this incredible building,” added Carter.

Ground source heat pumps at Montezuma-Cortez High School

Nunn Construction Senior Project Manager Rick Fleming shows Josh Dellinger one of the four penthouses that enclose the ground source heat pumps. This system is computerized, maintaining a constant temperature between 72 and 74 degrees in the classrooms.

In addition to the ground source heat pump, the school also boasts a 50kW solar installation, solar lighting tubes, and LED lighting powered by automatic dimmer controls. M-CHS is not just at the forefront of energy technology, they also have the direct needs of students in mind. Principal Jayson Wayman demonstrated classroom technology that allows all classroom speech and writing to be recorded – so students who miss a class can catch up online with the same materials that were presented to their peers.

 

Ute Mountain Travel Center & Casino

Ute Mountain Travel Center & Casino

One of the new LED lights outside the Casino entrance

The Ute Mountain Travel Center and Casino installed LED lighting for their parking lot. General Manager Bob Brooker said, “The new lighting really makes a big impression on our guests, they feel safer because its so much brighter.” The Travel Center and Casino now has more efficient lighting which saves them money on the monthly electric bill. Empire General Manager Josh Dellinger presented them with a check for $11,603.

 

Kokopelli Bike & Board

Empire electric gives rebate to Cortez business

A few of the bikes Kokopelli’s offers to mountain biking enthusiasts.

Following the advice of contractor Aco Electric and Empire Engineer Wendell Fry, Kokopelli Bike & Board of Cortez improved their store lighting with LED fixtures. They now have brighter lighting for their customers and use fewer lights at a lower cost. Pete Eschallier received a rebate check of $2,878.50. Kokopelli’s enjoys a much lower energy bill than before LED lighting – saving a quarter of the amount each month.

Tri-State G&T presents public comments about coal leases on federal lands

Reclaimed land at ColoWyo Mine in Craig, Colorado.

Reclaimed land at ColoWyo Mine in Craig, Colorado.

Today in Casper, Wyoming, Tri-State participated at a public comments meeting conducted by the Bureau of Land Management, an agency of the Department of the Interior (DOI), regarding the processing and issuing of coal leases on federal lands.

The DOI placed a moratorium on coal leases in January that will last until the agency completes a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The purpose of the PEIS is “to identify and evaluate potential reforms to ensure the program is properly structured to provide a fair return to the taxpayers and reflect its impacts on the environment, while continuing to help meet the nation’s energy needs.”

Our Senior Environmental Policy Analyst Douglas Lempke submitted the following comments during today’s meeting:

Statement of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Scoping Meetings on Preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Federal Coal Leasing Program
Casper, Wyoming
May 17, 2016

Good Morning, my name is Doug Lempke and I am here to represent the views of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (Tri-State).

Tri-State is a consumer-owned, not-for-profit, wholesale electric power supplier owned by 44 electric cooperatives that serve approximately 1.5 million consumers – primarily in the rural areas of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

We own and operate the Colowyo Mine, which has long-term federal coal leases with the BLM. The Colowyo Mine generates millions in federal royalties, with approximately half of these royalty revenues returned to the State of Colorado and local communities. Tri-State is also a participant in the Trapper Mine in Colorado and the Dry Fork Mine in Wyoming, which also have federal leases. And we receive coal for our Springerville, AZ facility from Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine and from Arch Coal’s Black Thunder mine.

The discussion regarding limiting access to federal coal and increasing royalty rates is nothing more than a continuing effort to artificially increase costs and discourage the use of affordable and reliable coal resources.

Increasing costs of federal coal will have a direct, adverse impact on our members and the communities they serve, but provide little actual benefit to the environment, since it will just shift coal development to other areas.

For not-for-profit cooperatives like Tri-State, any increase in fuel costs is directly borne by our members. And our member systems serve some of the most economically depressed communities in the region where residents can least afford to pay higher electric bills.

As BLM develops the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the Federal Coal Program, Tri-State strongly encourages you to consider in all proposed alternatives:

– The impact on the cost of electricity,

– Federal, state and local government dependence on royalty payments,

– The true cost to mine federal coal, including state and federal royalty payments, all bonus bids, ad valorem property taxes, ad valorem production taxes, sales and use taxes, severance taxes and AML fees,,

– New ways to simplify reporting and administrative burdens for all parties involved,

– The long term benefits that coal mining can have for the environment, specifically the reinvigoration of wildlife habitats which may be in decline or of poor quality to start, and

– The provisions of the mineral leasing act that specifically identify and mandate the development of these resources for the benefit of the American public.

Tri-State encourages BLM to include alternatives in the PEIS that maximize federal coal use while maintaining the current royalty rate, or even better, proposing ways to reduce it.

Some have argued that the “Royalty Rate” is too low to provide Americans with the appropriate return on its development, but when you add in bonus bids, severance taxes and other fees and taxes, the economic analysis becomes much more favorable to development of federal coal resources.

The idea that access to federal coal should be significantly reduced – or even eliminated – would be disastrous and should not be considered as a reasonable alternative in the PEIS. Curtailment or elimination of federal coal will simply shift the emphasis to the use of private coal, eliminate any royalty payments and increase electricity costs.

As a nation, we can continue using federal coal in the future to keep electricity prices low while meeting national goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While the current administration has advocated for the reduction of coal generation, it has not suggested federal coal production be eliminated.  In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that under the Clean Power Plan coal will account for approximately 30 percent of the country’s electricity generation in 2030.

This future coal can come from federal reserves, where there is more environmental oversight and provides significant revenue to American taxpayers, states and local communities or it can come from other sources without these benefits.

Colowyo Mine: Protecting the Greater Sage-grouse in Colorado

Sharp-tailed grouse

Colorado Parks & Wildlife spokesperson Michelle Cowardin with a Sharp-tailed grouse near the Colowyo mine property

While Colowyo is best known for providing fuel to Tri-State’s Craig Station, it has recently been honored for its commitment to environmental preservation and conservation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Many types of animals call the land owned by Colowyo “home,” including; herds of elk and mule deer, pronghorn, endangered fish, bald and golden eagles, sandhill crane, large carnivores, and hundreds of Greater Sage-grouse and Columbian Sharp-tailed grouse. The largest Colorado populations of Greater Sage-grouse and Colombian Sharp-tail grouse reside in and around the Colowyo mine property.

Colowyo’s land profile includes tens of thousands of acres of grouse habitat, and the mine has always welcomed CPW onto their land for annual lek (breeding) counts, but their involvement goes far beyond that. Colowyo was a major partner in some of the first Greater Sage-grouse research projects in northwest Colorado – providing funds, access, logistical support and housing for researchers since 2001. Many young researchers make use of Colowyo’s Axial Basin “Grouse House” while observing the numerous animals native to this area of the state. Finally, Colowyo sponsored the Greater Sage and Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse Workshop to support ongoing conservation and management on a national level.

Because reserves in the current area being mined are nearly depleted, Colowyo is in the final stages of expansion planning at the mine. As a part of continued development of the mine, Colowyo has chosen to mitigate potential impacts to Greater Sage-grouse with a package of mitigation measures that include the donation of over 4,500 acres of high priority sage brush habitat and financial contributions to CPW to offset costs for monitoring, management and research of the Greater Sage-grouse.

Tri-State employees give generously through clothing drive

To say Tri-State’s firsthq_bin annual business clothing drive was merely a success would be an understatement. Employees at headquarters and the Northern Colorado Maintenance Center came out in full force over a two-week period to help those less fortunate get on their feet and interview-ready.

The drive resulted in the donation by employees of hundreds of clothing items to Dress For Success Denver and the Denver Rescue Mission. Dress for Success Denver is nonprofit organization that provides interview-appropriate clothing, employment retention programs and one-on-one executive coaching to low-income women seeking employment, while the Denver Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping people in need return to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.

The clothing drive is part of Tri-State’s ongoing commitment to serve the communities in which we live and work. 

Touchstone Energy supports National Western Stock Show

nwssFor the past 18 years, Tri-State and its Touchstone Energy member cooperatives have supported the National Western Stock Show, which wrapped up Jan. 24 in Denver, Colo. This year saw strong attendance, with 686,745 visitors enjoying the 16 days’ worth of events and making it the second-highest overall attendance in stock show history.

Touchstone Energy Cooperatives once again participated in the hitch ride, with attendees including Ellen Connor, Tri-State’s senior vice president of organizational services; Gary Small, executive director of Colorado 4H Foundation; Kaila Thieman, Colorado State FFA Officer; and Barbara Walz, Tri-State’s senior vice president of policy & compliance.

Considering the population that receives its electricity from Tri-State member systems is primarily located in rural areas, support of the stock show aligns well with their way of life. Three stock show events fund the National Western Scholarship Trust – and produce enough revenue to fund approximately 80 scholarships throughout Colorado and Wyoming for students studying in the fields of agriculture and rural medicine.

Tri-State congratulates all exhibitors and competitors in the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.

Silicon Ranch and PVREA Announces Energization of Local Solar Facilities

image005Tri-State member Poudre Valley REA (PVREA) and Silicon Ranch Corporation announced today that nearly 100,000 solar panels are live and generating renewable energy to Poudre Valley REA members in Northern Colorado.

The Skylark and Valley View Solar Facilities, both in Weld County, sit on nearly 150 acres of land combined and house nearly 100,000 solar panels – equivalent to the size of 48 football fields. The 8-megawatt solar facilities alone are 12 times larger than the Cooperative’s second Community Solar Farm that went live in January 2015 and are one of the first of its kind in Northern Colorado.

“This project is a milestone for Poudre Valley REA. Although we have completed renewable energy projects prior, such as our Community Solar Farms and the Carter Lake Hydropower Project, the Skylark and Valley View Solar Facilities are significantly larger and add another local, renewable energy source,” PVREA CEO Jeff Wadsworth said.

PVREA earlier this year signed a Purchase Power Agreement with Silicon Ranch Corporation to develop the Skylark and Valley View Solar Facilities. McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest American-owned construction firms, was contracted by Silicon Ranch to build the solar facilities and hired160 local workforce in Northern Colorado for construction. In just three months, the sites went from dirt to hundreds of rows of solar panels generating enough energy to power 1,300 homes annually.

Silicon Ranch President and CEO Matt Kisber said, “As long-term owners of all our projects, Silicon Ranch takes great pride in being excellent neighbors and active members in the communities that we serve. To that end, we have spent considerable time and effort over the past several months listening, learning, and responding to various stakeholders throughout Weld County, including but not limited to Upstate Colorado Economic Development, Greeley City Council, the Weld County Board of County Commissioners, local city and county planning departments, and of course, our neighbors. Today we celebrate the commissioning of these solar facilities as a true group effort, and we are grateful for all of our project partners.”

The solar generation facilities are directly tied into the Cooperative’s distribution system and used as a local energy source, contributing to the local power mix for all PVREA members in Weld, Larimer and Boulder counties. Silicon Ranch worked with PVREA to locate the facilities that form the project at two strategic sites, one near Greeley and the other near Severance, to maximize benefits to the co-op members and to match to PVREA’s load requirements. The Cooperative also has other renewable energy projects – Carter Lake Hydropower, two Community Solar Farms, and several hundred members with individual Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems. With the commissioning of the Skylark and Valley View Solar Facilities, PVREA members receive 28% of their energy from renewable resources.

“We’re pleased to be providing renewable energy to our members that maintains reliability, makes economic sense and conserves natural resources, and we will continue to research additional energy resources that prove advantageous for our members,” PVREA CEO Jeff Wadsworth said.

 

SMPA bringing cost-efficient lighting to co-op-served communities

CP-Norwood250-captureTri-State member system San Miguel Power Association (Nucla, Colo.), will brighten the holidays this season in several of its co-op-served towns with a project to convert old technology streetlights to high efficiency LED fixtures that will deliver superior illumination and significant cost savings.

Tri-State supports these projects through its Energy Efficiency Products (EPP) program that is designed to partner with its members to offer rebate incentives to their co-op consumers who install energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and other electric products, that offer value to its members and the consumers they serve.

San Miguel Power’s municipal lighting project is planned for multiple phases beginning with the town of Norwood, where a total of 43 existing streetlights will be upgraded from obsolete mercury vapor and high pressure sodium lamps to LED illumination. To kick off the project, the first lamp (shown in photo) was recently installed at the corner of Market Street and Grand Avenue in Norwood to showcase the new brighter white lights to the public.

The co-op’s key accounts representative, Paul Hora, is encouraging feedback on the new lights and noted that $8,700 investment should yield an annual savings of nearly $2,900 plus reduced maintenance costs, since the lights are projected to have a 15 to 20-year lifespan.

Norwood’s town administrator, Patti Grafmyer, projects that the lighting retrofit will pay for itself in approximately two-and-a-half years.

Similar upgrades are also planned for Nucla and Naturita. In Nucla, the town will replace 58 fixtures for a savings of approximately $3,800 and 100 fixtures will be changed out in Naturita for a lighting tariff reduction of nearly $6,500.

San Miguel’s Hora said that the co-op also plans commercial lighting upgrades in 2016 in the towns of Ridgway, Rico and Silverton for a total of approximately 200 upgraded LED streetlights.

As is often case in many co-op served communities, San Miguel Power’s crews are also out helping everyone get in the holiday spirit by stringing LED holiday lights throughout the communities that they serve.

For High West Energy it’s all about the brands

Highwestpic250There’s a rich ranching heritage within Tri-State member High West Energy’s three-state service territory, and the co-op is saluting it in a most unusual way.

“Over the years, more than 500 brands have been registered in High West’s service territory,” says Brian  Heithoff, CEO and general manager of the Pine Bluffs, Wyo.-based co-op. “It is our goal to have as many of those brands as possible represented in our office.”

For nearly 30 years, seeing some of those brands has been part of the regular workday for dozens of staffers at the coop’s headquarters. The co-op took over an old John Deere dealership building back in 1988 and inherited a tradition likely born in the mind of a tractor salesman decades before to promote customer goodwill. Read more

Colowyo Mine says ‘thanks’ with checks to local communities

Meekerchk250On Nov. 10 and Nov. 23, respectively, Chris McCourt, manager of western Colorado’s Colowyo Coal Mine, presented a check for $15,000 to the Craig City Council and a donation of $5,000 to the Rio Blanco County Commissioners (pictured) in Meeker as a way of showing gratitude for the many years of support of the mine by the residents of these Western Slope communities.

“Many of our 220 employees at the mine are proud to call the towns of Meeker and Craig home and are gratified to know that their friends, neighbors and local businesses support the work that we do at the mine to responsibly help provide affordable electricity to Coloradoans,” said McCourt during his presentation to the Rio Blanco County Commissioners. “This check is our way of saying thanks for your longstanding support,” he added.

Located approximately half way between Craig (in Moffat County) and Meeker (in Rio Blanco County) on State Highway 13, Colowyo Mine currently supplies more than half of the coal needed to operate the 1,311-megawatt Craig Station near Craig. Nearly 200 Colowyo employees live in Moffat County or Rio Blanco County, and the mine has an estimated $206 million economic impact on the region. Colowyo Mine is owned and operated by Western Fuels-Colo., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

 

BLM releases draft EA on Montrose-Nucla-Cahone Transmission Project

– Rebuild of 80-Mile Line Will Support Regional Growth, Boost Grid Reliability

– Tri-State’s Preferred Alternative Would Promote Safety, Minimize Impacts on Grouse Habitat

 telecomchopper250WESTMINSTER, Colo. – Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., a wholesale power supplier owned by 44 member electric cooperatives and public power districts, said today that it is encouraging the public to review a recently-released federal environmental analysis of the proposed Montrose-Nucla-Cahone (MNC) Transmission Upgrade Project. The company is also urging interested stakeholders to take advantage of a 30-day public comment period by expressing support for the utility’s preferred alternative for rebuilding the transmission line.

 Tri-State is proposing to rebuild and increase the capacity of the 80-mile MNC line that serves communities across southwestern Colorado, not only to replace aging infrastructure and increase grid reliability, but also to help meet new electricity demand. The existing 115 kilovolt (kV) line, in place for almost 60 years, will be replaced by a new 230 kV line and supported by a new substation and upgrades at two existing substations. The project will also replace fiber optic cable that is located on the existing line to ensure continued reliable emergency communications and broadband service for the region.

According to Tri-State Senior Vice President of Transmission Joel Bladow, the new line will benefit Tri-State’s members and the communities they serve. “Tri-State studied multiple ways to address the aging infrastructure, improve reliability and meet significant new demand in the region, and we determined that the MNC project was the best option,” said Bladow. “The upgraded line will help us meet the needs of our members for years to come.”

Because the existing line crosses lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the MNC project requires the completion of an Environmental Assessment (EA).

On Nov. 3, the BLM released a draft EA, triggering a 30-day public comment period (running through Dec. 3) that provides opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed alternatives and project benefits.

The draft EA identifies three construction alternatives. Under “Alternative A,” Tri-State’s preferred option, the utility would rebuild the line largely within the existing transmission line corridor – with the exception of diverting the current crossing of the Dolores River in western Dolores County to a new location approximately one mile downstream. The re-route is proposed to address safety, access and erosion concerns.

Bladow explained that the new crossing point would be more accessible, making it safer for construction and maintenance workers. “Safety is a top priority at Tri-State, but the existing span across the Dolores River creates real challenges for our maintenance staff. The northern takeoff point is located on steep, narrow, rocky terrain that is extremely difficult to access with vehicles and equipment for needed maintenance,” he said. “We are hopeful the BLM, Forest Service and other stakeholders will recognize that our proposed alternative offers a safer and more desirable location and will reduce erosion concerns by removing the current alignment from highly erosive soils.”

The other alternatives in the draft EA involve taking no action at all to improve the existing line – which would lead to further deterioration of the critical infrastructure, increase risk for electrical outages and threaten future service capacity – and diverting the existing corridor to accommodate a remnant population of Gunnison sage-grouse in the Dry Creek Basin in central San Miguel County. The BLM has proposed relocating 7.6 miles of line from its current route through the basin to a new alignment located along State Highway 141; the relocation would create an additional 1.3 miles of disturbance through Gunnison sage-grouse critical habitat.

As part of the 30-day public comment period on the draft EA, the BLM will host a public open house on Nov. 16 at Dove Creek High School in Dove Creek, Colo., from 5 to 7 p.m. Information is also available at the BLM’s project Web page: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/district_offices/southwest/TriState230kVRebuild.html.

In addition, Tri-State has established a website at www.MNCRebuild.com to provide updated information on the project and to facilitate the submission of comments to the BLM.

 About Tri-State

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a wholesale power supplier, operating on a not-for-profit basis, to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts serving approximately 1.5 million consumers throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. In 2015, Tri-State was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as Wind Cooperative of the Year.

 Media Contact:

Drew Kramer

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association

O: (303) 254-3086

C: (303) 681-1341

E: Akramer@TriStateGT.org

 

PVREA to add 8 megawatts of solar capacity

PVREAsolar250According to a recent article appearing in the Denver Post, Tri-State member system Poudre Valley REA (Fort Collins, Colo.) could be just two months away from completing two solar farms that are expected to produce enough electricity to power about 1,300 homes.

Each of the two solar sites, located near Loveland, is being built on 70-acre land parcels that will accommodate nearly 50,000 solar panels. Maximum combined output for the two sites is approximately 8 megawatts.

Poudre Valley’s Amy Blunck said the solar sites are owned and being constructed by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch. One site, named Valley View Solar, is north of U.S. 34 and west of Colo. 257. The other site, called Skylark Solar, is near the intersection of Colorado highways 14 and 257, east of Fort Collins.

Poudre Valley REA has a 20-year contract to purchase the electricity from the solar facilities, but isn’t investing any money in their construction, Blunck said.

During the past several years, the co-op also has built two community solar farms, from which its consumers can purchase solar panels and receive a monthly credit on their electric bills. One of these community solar farms has a total of 494 panels and is located adjacent to Poudre Valley’s headquarters in Windsor. The other community solar site features about 2,000 solar panels and is located north of Fort Collins.

Poudre Valley also buys electricity from a small hydroelectric plant located at Carter Lake and receives up to 24 percent renewable power from its primary power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, based in Westminster, Colo.

NM jury affirms cooperative business model in Las Conchas fire trial

A jury in the Sandoval County District Court affirmed that Tri-State is not responsible for the actions of Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. (JMEC), one of its 44 member distribution cooperatives, in a trial stemming from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico.

During the trial, Tri-State maintained it had a strong legal position in the case regarding its operations being separate from JMEC and the members of the jury agreed. The jury supported the cooperative’s arguments that JMEC and Tri-State did not operate as a joint venture or joint enterprise.

“We appreciate the jury’s recognition of the cooperative business model and that JMEC and Tri-State operate independently,” said Lee Boughey, senior manager of communications and public affairs for Tri-State.

The jury found JMEC, Tri-State and the United States Forest Service were comparatively negligent in the Las Conchas fire.

“Tri-State is disappointed with the negligence verdict, but we are nonetheless thankful to the jury for the time they have devoted to the trial,” said Boughey.

Tri-State maintains it had a strong defense and the correct legal position in the case and will consider all of its legal options.

The trial in the Sandoval County District Court began Oct. 1. The civil lawsuit was filed by a number of plaintiffs, including the Cochiti and Jemez pueblos, against JMEC and Tri-State for damages stemming from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire. The issue of the amount of damages, if any, will be determined in a later trial.

The fire started when an aspen tree, located on private land approximately 50 feet beyond the edge of JMEC’s 20-foot right-of-way for an electric distribution line, fell into JMEC’s line during a period of strong winds. The U.S. Forest Service granted the right-of-way easement to the cooperative to operate the line.

“In this case, a tree located far from the line’s right-of-way and in apparently healthy condition was blown over by a wind gust,” said Boughey. “Given the tree’s location and condition, it could not have been identified by JMEC as posing a threat to the line.”

During the trial, both JMEC and Tri-State argued that JMEC was not negligent and followed distribution cooperative industry standards and practices for line clearance and tree trimming.

The jury found JMEC 75 percent negligent, Tri-State 20 percent negligent and the US Forest Service 5 percent negligent.

“Utilities operate power lines and maintain rights-of-way to ensure safety and to protect their communities,” said Boughey. “We feel deeply for those in the Cochiti and Jemez pueblos and the other plaintiffs who were affected by the fire.”

FERC: Renewables account for over 60% of new generation in 2015

Multirenewables250Renewables accounted for 60.2 percent of the new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first three quarters of 2015, according to the “Energy Infrastructure Update” from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.

The cumulative installed capacity of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30 was 7,276 megawatts. It included 2,966 megawatts of new wind capacity, 40.76 percent of the total, as well as 1,137 megawatts of solar, 205 megawatts of biomass, 45 megawatts of geothermal steam and 27 megawatts of hydropower. Natural gas generation capacity grew by 2,884 megawatts in the same period.

In the month of September, wind topped the new generation capacity list with 448 megawatts, natural gas was second at 346 megawatts and solar was third with 20 megawatts of new capacity.

FERC puts renewables at 17.4 percent of total installed U.S. generating capacity, including 8.59 percent hydro, 5.91 percent wind, 1.43 percent biomass, 1.13 percent solar and 0.34 percent geothermal steam generation. No new nuclear capacity was added in 2015 and only 9 megawatts of oil and 3 megawatts of coal-fired capacity.

Critics point out the renewable numbers – especially those for solar – are underestimated because FERC does not fully account for distributed generation in its reports.

 

Tri-State files legal challenge on Clean Power Plan

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. filed a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan by filing a Petition for Review with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Tri-State, the wholesale power supplier to 44 member electric cooperatives and public power districts across the West, is also participating in motions for stay of the rule filed by a large group of states, trade organizations, utilities, energy producers and business interests.

Even as Tri-State works constructively with the states to develop state plans under the new rule, strong arguments exist to show EPA exceeded its legal authority and many of the requirements of the rule are legally flawed.

During the federal rulemaking process, Tri-State and many of its member systems raised legal and technical issues about the proposal and expressed concerns the rule would be unworkable and unenforceable. The EPA did little to address these concerns and issued a final rule, which prompted the legal challenge.

Tri-State appreciates the efforts of attorneys general across the country who have asked to stay implementation of the rule until all of the legal issues are resolved. A stay of the rule is warranted because of the irreparable harm that will occur long before the compliance obligations go into effect. Utilities are often required to comply with a rule and forced to make long-term decisions well before the legal process concludes.

While pursuing legal challenges to the federal rule, Tri-State is also committed to working with officials in the five states in which it operates to develop required state plans and minimize the impact these state plans have on its members and rural electricity consumers.

Tri-State addresses carbon emissions by maintaining highly efficient power plants, investing in renewable energy and supporting research and development. In 2014, 24 percent of the energy delivered by Tri-State and its member systems was from renewable resources, and the association’s renewable power supply will grow by another 281 megawatts with the completion of four wind and solar projects by 2017. Tri-State also supports progressive energy efficiency programs offered by its member systems.

In addition to Tri-State’s renewable energy resources and energy efficiency programs, fossil fuel resources remain essential to serve load, maintain reliability and manage power costs for its members.

Tri-State is the wholesale power supplier, operating on a not-for-profit basis, to 44 member electric distribution systems that serve 1.5 million members throughout 200,000 square miles of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. Tri-State has operations in five states, including Arizona.

 

Tri-State to help support carbon capture R&D at Basin plant

Dryforksta250Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station (Gillette, Wyo.) will host a new research facility underwritten by the state of Wyoming with help from Tri-State and other electric cooperatives to develop commercially viable uses for carbon dioxide produced by power plants.

Tri-State is a Class A member of Basin Electric and also shares ownership in the Bismarck, N.D.-based G&T’s Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyo.

“We are making an investment in the future of coal,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said in announcing the plans for the new Integrated Test Center on Oct. 8. “The research at the ITC will lead to new opportunities in petrochemicals and other commercial uses.

Wyoming, the nation’s leading coal-producing state, is financing 75 percent of the $20 million project. Tri-State and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association have also pledged significant contributions to the project.

“This facility allows us to provide the same leadership in research and to do all we can to make sure the coal industry can continue to serve Wyoming and the country for many years to come,” said Mead.

Dry Fork Station is one of a number of coal-based generation facilities in Basin’s generation fleet that supplies power to its member cooperatives, including Tri-State.

The XPRIZE Foundation has agreed to be one of the first tenants in the Integrated Test Center. The international Philanthropic group recently announced a $20 million global competition to encourage development of new uses for CO2.

The ITC will be completed in time to host the final phase of the Carbon XPRIZE, which is scheduled to begin in late 2017.

Watch “The people behind the power” mining video

Miner&son250Tri-State takes a great deal of pride in the men and women who safely and efficiently operate its mines in Colorado. Take a look at this short video (less than 7 minutes) and learn more about how these miners, their families and the local community business owners view the operations at Tri-State’s coal mines and the important role that they play in helping us keep the lights on for thousands of consumers across the West.

Tri-State announces 25-megawatt Alta Luna Solar Project in New Mexico

Altaluna250Tri-State and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C. (DESRI), have announced the execution of a 25-year contract to supply the association with renewable energy from the planned Alta Luna Solar Project to be constructed in Luna County in southwest New Mexico.

Tri-State will purchase the entire output of the 25-megawatt solar farm over the life of the contract. The facility is expected to come online in December 2016 and will receive electric service from Tri-State member Columbus Electric Cooperative, based in Deming.

“Alta Luna Solar is the third utility-scale renewable energy project we’ve announced this year and further demonstrates how Tri-State and its members are committed to a diverse, yet cost-effective generation fleet,” said Brad Nebergall, Tri-State’s senior vice president of energy management. “As with the other projects, Alta Luna represents a collaborative effort to find solutions to the various challenges that new generation presents – from siting and engineering to transmission access and financing. We are pleased to be contributing to this important initiative.”

The new solar site will consist of a single-axis tracking array of over 108,000 photovoltaic solar panels located on a 220-acre site in Luna County, approximately 25 miles northeast of Deming. The project was developed by TurningPoint Energy, a Denver-based developer, and subsequently sold to an affiliate of DESRI in partnership with Bright Plain Renewable Energy, LLC, a San Francisco-based solar project developer, investor and operator.

The Alta Luna Solar Project is Tri-State’s second utility-scale solar photovoltaic power purchase agreement in New Mexico and the third in its system overall. In 2010, the utility began receiving power from the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar facility located in Colfax County, N.M., and last month Tri-State announced an agreement to purchase power from the 30-megawatt San Isabel Solar Project to be constructed in southern Colorado.

In 2014, 24 percent of the energy Tri-State and its member systems delivered to cooperative members was generated from renewable resources – one of the top ratios among electric utilities in the nation.

 

Feds: Expect lower heating bills this winter

Winterheating250Consumers can expect to pay less this winter because of lower fuels costs and more moderate temperatures, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Oct. 6.

In its Winter Fuels Outlook, EIA also said residential heating bills will be at their lowest level in three years.

According to EIA, residential ratepayers who use electricity as their primary sources of warmth will spend an average of $930 on heating costs from October through March. That represents a decrease of $30 in average costs compared with the same period one year ago.

Electricity is the primary heating fuel in the South and is used extensively by consumer-members of the nation’s electric cooperatives. About 39 percent of all U.S. households rely on electricity for heat, ranging from 15 percent in the Northeast to 63 percent in the South, EIA said.

Natural gas users will spend an average of $578 on heating costs, or $64 less than last winter.

Propane costs for the average home using that fuel as a primary heating source will be about $322 lower at $1,437.

EIA analysts also noted a $459 decline in winter cost to $1,437 for average homes using heating oil.

Meteorologists at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration are forecasting winter temperatures 13 percent warmer in the Northeast, 11 percent warmer in the Midwest and 8 percent warmer in the South.

DMEA donates fresh 4-H meat to local food banks

DMEAmeatshare250Fresh food is a rare commodity at food banks, but two pantries in Colorado received a special treat recently when Tri-State member, Delta-Montrose Electric Association (Montrose, Colo.), donated hundreds pounds of fresh meat to help feed families in the region.

As shown in the photo to the left, DMEA board members Bill Patterson (left) and Kyle Martinez (right) helped delivered 320 pounds of lamb and pork to Michelle Overmyer of Sharing Ministries in Montrose. In addition, the co-op also donated about 350 pounds of bacon and sausage to the Hotchkiss Community Methodist Church Food Bank worth about $700.

The donated meat is farm fresh, straight from junior 4H Livestock shows at local county fairs. The co-op also paid a local plant to process the meat.

“This year, by donating the meat we were able to make our support go further in our community and impact members we may have not have reached before,” said Becky Mashburn, the co-op’s marketing and public relations administrator.

Sharon Teter, of the Hotchkiss Food Bank, said it will take about two months to distribute the meat; the bank serves about 340 families every two months in the four communities that it serves.

The remainder of the pork and sausage, which went to Montrose Sharing Ministries, is being distributed to local families in need. “We distribute one pound of meat per person, or two, if we have an abundance of meat, which isn’t very often,” said Kathi Crandall of the Montrose Sharing Ministries. “It’s very exciting when we get meat donated like we got from DMEA,” she added.