Co-op kids mix fun with energy education at youth leadership camp

Co-op campers perform a mock swearing in session for an NRECA legislative simulation.

Co-op campers perform a mock swearing in session for an NRECA legislative simulation.

Approximately 90 high school-aged teens recently enjoyed a glorious week of summertime fun in the Rockies mixed with some electric co-op energy education thanks to their local electric co-ops.

Campers from Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma converged on the Glen Eden Resort near Steamboat Springs, Colo., on July 13th for a jam-packed five-day agenda of activities ranging from volleyball tournaments, and river rafting to a high voltage safety demonstration and a power plant tour.

“The kids seem to really appreciate the balance that we try and provide between offering a lot of the traditional camp recreation activities along with opportunities to learn about how an electric co-op functions and a little bit of the science behind how electricity is produced and delivered to their homes,” said Jonathan Thornton, Tri-State’s strategic communications specialist and operations manager of the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp. Continue reading ‘Co-op kids mix fun with energy education at youth leadership camp’

Craig Station employees celebrate 1 million work-hours without a lost-workday injury

Barry Ingold (left), senior vice president of production, presents a plaque commemorating 1 million hours without a lost-day injury to Craig Station’s Jim Nicoletto (center) and Paul Perez.

Barry Ingold (left), senior vice president of production, presents a plaque commemorating 1 million hours without a lost-day injury to Craig Station’s Jim Nicoletto (center) and Paul Perez.

Credit Tri-State’s 300 Craig Station employees with the hard work, focus and tenacity that it took to reach an unprecedented safety milestone of having worked for more than 1 million hours without a lost workday injury at the association’s largest (1,303-megawatt) generating facility.

Plant employees were honored for their accomplishment earlier this week (July 15) with a visit and presentations by executive vice president and general manager, Mike McInnes and Barry Ingold, newly appointed senior vice president of production.

Ingold presented a plaque recognizing this achievement to Paul Perez, lab technician and union safety steward for Craig Station and Jim Nicoletto, machinist mechanic and chief steward for the local chapter of the IBEW. Continue reading ‘Craig Station employees celebrate 1 million work-hours without a lost-workday injury’

Tri-State among Wyoming conservation award sponsors

Pat and Sharon O’Toole were honored by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Tri-State and others for their environmental stewardship on their 130-year-old cattle and sheep ranch in southern Wyoming.

Pat and Sharon O’Toole were honored by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association,
Tri-State and others for their environmental stewardship on their 130-year-old cattle and sheep ranch in southern Wyoming.

Tri-State is proud to be a sponsor of the coveted 2014 Leopold Conservation Awards that were given to ranchers and farmers in the states of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming who demonstrated extraordinary achievement in environmental stewardship of their land. On July 10, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead proclaimed that date as Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day in honor of the O’Toole family’s Ladder Ranch located in southern Wyoming.

The Environmental Stewardship Tour and celebration, held July 10, at the Ladder Ranch attracted nearly 100 government officials, legislators, sponsors, fellow ranchers and friends. The ranch visitors were treated to an all-day agenda of presentations, ranch tours, lunch, dinner and evening entertainment on this 1,600-acre scenic property located near the confluence of the Little Snake River and Battle Creek.

The Ladder Ranch, which is electrically served by Tri-State member Carbon Power & Light (Saratoga, Wyo.), has been in the Salisbury/O’Toole family since the 1880s. Continue reading ‘Tri-State among Wyoming conservation award sponsors’

Father’s Day weekend storm damages two Tri-State lines

Significant storm damage impacting more than 7 miles of line and structures required line crews and considerable fleet equipment (shown) on site.

Significant storm damage impacting more than 7 miles of line and structures required line crews and considerable fleet equipment (shown) on site.

Some of the association’s transmission maintenance crews had to postpone their Father’s Day weekend celebrations last month to respond to a call for emergency line repairs in the wake of a massive storm that damaged two Tri-State lines in eastern Colorado on the evening of June 14.

Robert Rojas, senior manager of transmission maintenance, provided a brief presentation on the storm event and subsequent line damage to Tri-State’s board during last week’s monthly meeting in Westminster.

According to Rojas, a severe storm moved into the Burlington, Colo., area during the early evening of June 14. The storm first struck Tri-State’s Big Sandy to Landsman Creek 230-kilovolt line at around 6:20 p.m., inflicting heavy damage to about 7 miles of line and 29 H-frame structures. However, no load was lost to local member K.C. Electric Association (Hugo, Colo.).  About 30 minutes later the storm continued to track to the northeast when it struck Tri-State’s 115-kilovolt Burlington to Bonny Creek line, taking out two structures and causing a 20-megawatt load loss to K.C. Electric. Continue reading ‘Father’s Day weekend storm damages two Tri-State lines’

Tri-State joins fellow cooperatives in celebrating International Cooperative Day on July 5

International-Day-of-CooperativesJuly 5 is International Cooperative Day! The United Nations’ International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of July each year by the International Cooperative Alliance. Some of the day’s goals are to increase the awareness of cooperatives and to strengthen partnerships between the international cooperative movement and supporting organizations such as governments.

Tri-State G& T is proud to celebrate International Cooperative Day. Concern for the community is just one of the seven cooperative principles that all cooperatives abide by. By placing you, our members, at the center of our focus, we aim to deliver a distinctive form of “shared value.”  Visit Tri-State G&T to learn more about our principles and why we honor International Cooperative Day.

Power visits the Colorado Energy Expo

 

Power uses the hand-crank display in Tri-State’s booth at the Colorado Energy Expo

Power uses the hand-crank display in Tri-State’s booth at the Colorado Energy Expo

Power arrived at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on Friday morning, June 27 as part of the Colorado Energy Expo.  Tri-State G&T exhibited with a 20’ x 20’ booth where Power made appearances throughout the day. The event was free and open to those in the electric industry as well as to the public. Hundreds of consultants, engineers and friends of the energy industry visited Tri-State’s  booth to learn more about Tri-State’s services, pose for pictures with Power and experience the exhibits about electricity.

Within Tri-State’s booth, Poudre Valley REA demonstrated electric safety on a table-top display, creating an arc of electricity, which drew the attention of passers-by.  Tri-State’s self-generation-hand crank display provided a “hands-on” exhibit that demonstrated the amount of power it takes to light a CFL bulb versus a standard incandescent bulb. Continue reading ‘Power visits the Colorado Energy Expo’

Annual Tri-State-hosted energy conference for educators wraps up

Richard Rhoads and other plant personnel at J.M. Shafer Station recently welcomed educators for a plant tour.

Richard Rhoads and other plant personnel at J.M. Shafer Station recently welcomed educators for a plant tour.

School is finally out  for nearly 50 educators from across Tri-State’s four-state member service territory. They signed up to participate in the third annual three-day NEED (National Energy Education Development) conference held last week (June 25-27) at headquarters.

It is hosted and sponsored by the association and its member systems. Vernon Kimball, a retired school teacher and NEED instructor, conducted most of this year’s program along with plenty of support and guest appearances from Tri-State staff.

The primary goal of this conference is to promote energy industry knowledge among the educators in the hope that they will be more likely to include this topic in their classroom curriculums this fall. The lessons presented are S.T.E.M. certified, so they comply with education standards. Continue reading ‘Annual Tri-State-hosted energy conference for educators wraps up’

Tri-Stater’s invention boosts safety, reduces fatigue for maintenance crews

Inventor, Bill DePue, displays two Tri-Clamp devices alongside the Boo-Sher Socket.

Inventor, Bill DePue, displays two Tri-Clamp devices alongside the Boo-Sher Socket.

As any of Tri-State’s transmission maintenance crew members will tell you there are a significant number of potential hazards associated with working on energized, high voltage equipment. But, these days live-line maintenance is often a necessary part of the job and thanks to Bill DePue’s inventions, some of those required maintenance procedures are now more efficient, faster and, most importantly, safer with the use of his innovative Tri-Clamp and Boo-Sher Socket.

“On transmission lines, installing energized jumpers (electrical connections between two points in a circuit) can be one of the more difficult and potentially dangerous jobs that we do,” explained Tri-State’s inventor and line maintenance superintendent, Bill DePue. “I knew there had to be a better way to do it,” he added.

With the Tri-Clamp Web site displayed on his computer, Bill DePue explains how his innovations are used on the job.

With the Tri-Clamp Web site displayed on his computer, Bill DePue explains how his innovations are used on the job.

Indeed, the 40-year veteran of the electric industry did find a better way to do it. DePue introduced the Tri-Clamp and the accompanying Boo-Sher Socket (named for his wife and daughter) to Tri-State’s maintenance crews about two years ago and his fellow co-workers have nothing but praise for their many on-the-job uses. Continue reading ‘Tri-Stater’s invention boosts safety, reduces fatigue for maintenance crews’

Youth Tour participants visit Denver and Washington, D.C.

Youth-Tour-2014_15A group of 28 Colorado high school students participating in this year’s Electric Cooperative Youth Tour visited United Power last week (June 12) to learn about electric cooperatives, the electric utility industry and to get a general idea of how electricity is generated and transmitted before heading to Colorado’s capitol building and then jetting off to Washington D.C. for a week of activities visiting officials, seeing the sights and meeting their peers from across the country.

Tri-State strategic communications specialist Jonathan Thornton helped organize and present during the day’s events to prepare the tour participants for their week-long experience in our nation’s capital.  They viewed a safety demonstration courtesy of United Power’s linemen and played “The Price of Electricity is Right” to learn about the value of electricity and the cooperative business model.  Dispatch Manager Michael Houglum provided a tour of dispatch Thursday night describing the three electric grids and how they balance generation to load. Continue reading ‘Youth Tour participants visit Denver and Washington, D.C.’

Tri-State supports Colorado Future Farmers of America convention

Colo-FFA-Washington-Leadership-tourGigi Dennis, senior manager external affairs, represented Tri-State at Colorado’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention and awarded the scholarships for the Washington Leadership tour. This year’s Colorado FFA convention was held in Alamosa on May 29 and almost 1,400 students and staff attended Adams State University for the event.

Tri-State has a history of contributing to the statewide FFA foundations in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and New Mexico. Those funds support FFA students who attend the annual Washington Leadership Conference in our nation’s capital. The event gives them an opportunity to learn how the federal government operates, tour the city and meet their state’s elected officials. Continue reading ‘Tri-State supports Colorado Future Farmers of America convention’

Power is unveiled to employees, board members and member systems

All employees were invited to participate in the unveiling of Tri-State’s new “Work of Power” outreach campaign at June’s monthly management meeting on Friday, June 6.  The meeting gave all Tri-Staters the opportunity to learn about the Power campaign consisting of print and television advertisements, and Power public appearances at member systems’ annual meetings.  The 250 employees that attended the monthly management meeting in the Hub Thompson Room saw Power’s new television advertisement, met him in ‘person’ and posed for pictures with the star, while at least an additional 50 employees attended the meeting remotely.

Lee Boughey, senior manager, enterprise communications & public affairs, explains the origin of the Power campaign.

Lee Boughey, senior manager, enterprise communications & public affairs, explains the origin of the Power campaign.

Lee Boughey, senior manager, enterprise communications & public affairs, explained the origin of the Power campaign, the process of creating the character and showed the television advertisement.  He also shared Power’s Twitter account and Facebook page and finally introduced Power himself.

On-stage, public affairs coordinator Sarah Carlisle talked while Power communicated by holding up cue cards and together, they emphasized the importance of Power in our work, home and personal lives and how, without Power, it would be impossible to charge cell phones, operate washing machines or even brew a  morning cup of coffee. Carlisle encouraged all employees to ‘Like’ Power’s Facebook page and to visit PowerWorksForYou.coop to learn more about Power. Continue reading ‘Power is unveiled to employees, board members and member systems’

Ridgway hydropower project adds to Tri-State’s renewable portfolio

View of Tri-County’s new hydropower plant that began generating for Tri-State on June 1.

View of Tri-County’s new hydropower plant that began generating for Tri-State on June 1.

Tri-State staff, member co-op personnel and a crowd of about 150 officials and guests gathered near the base of the Ridgway Reservoir and Dam in Colorado’s Ouray County, on June 6, for the dedication of Tri-County Water Conservancy District’s new 8-megawatt hydropower project that began producing renewable power for Tri-State on June 1 under a 10-year power purchase agreement.

This is a somewhat unusual project in that the water district actually has two customers purchasing power from the new hydropower plant’s generating units. The larger portion – approximately 60 percent — will be purchased by Tri-State between June and September and for the remaining months the plant’s output will be sold to the City of Aspen.

This new hydroelectric facility was built with the assistance of Tri-State, which extended a line to the site and constructed a new switching station to connect the plant to the power grid. Station service to the power house and Tri-County’s ancillary plant facilities is provided locally by Tri-State member San Miguel Power Association, based in Ridgway and Nucla. Continue reading ‘Ridgway hydropower project adds to Tri-State’s renewable portfolio’

Tri-State’s Mary Ann Zehr receives RMEL’s Emerging Leader Award

Tri-State G&T is proud to announce its own Mary Ann Zehr as the winner of the Rocky Mountain Electric League’s (RMEL) Emerging Leader Award.

From left, RMEL Executive Director Rick Putnicki, Mary Ann Zehr, and RMEL President and Senior VP, Power Generation Services, Black & Veatch Corp. Dan Schmidt.

From left, RMEL Executive Director Rick Putnicki, Mary Ann Zehr, and RMEL President and Senior VP, Power Generation Services, Black & Veatch Corp. Dan Schmidt.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes and honors RMEL members who are up and coming in their company and have had 5-10 years of experience in the industry, established significant contributions within their organization and demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing service in the electric utility industry. The award was presented to Zehr and seven other members at the RMEL Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference in May.

“Tri-State has been a longtime member and supporter of RMEL that is dedicated to sharing ideas, techniques and programs to better serve the industry and its customers.  We are very excited and proud of Mary Ann receiving this very prestigious award and for her numerous accomplishments in the industry,” said Joel Bladow, Senior Vice President of Transmission. Continue reading ‘Tri-State’s Mary Ann Zehr receives RMEL’s Emerging Leader Award’

McInnes appointed Tri-State executive vice president and general manager

Mike-McInnesTri-State’s board of directors has unanimously chosen Michael McInnes as the association’s executive vice president and general manager. McInnes had served in that role on an interim basis since March 2014.

“Mike demonstrates daily the leadership and character that motivates our employees and strengthens our relationships with our members,” said Rick Gordon, chairman and president of Tri-State. “This combined with his deep industry knowledge and passion for the cooperative business model makes Mike uniquely qualified to lead Tri-State into the future.”

“I’m honored by the board’s support and grateful for the opportunity to lead this outstanding association’s talented and dedicated employees,” said McInnes. “I’m humbled by the responsibility Tri-State has to deliver to our members the affordable and reliable electricity that is essential to the rural way of life, and I’m confident we can move forward to meet the challenges facing our association and industry.” Continue reading ‘McInnes appointed Tri-State executive vice president and general manager’

Tri-State, member systems receive ‘Spotlight on Excellence’ awards

The opening general session of NRECA’s CONNECT ’14 conference featured Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity.com and co-founder of Kayak.com.

The opening general session of NRECA’s CONNECT ’14 conference featured Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity.com and co-founder of Kayak.com.

Last month (May 14-16) in San Antonio, Texas,  members of Tri-State’s communications department and several member co-op employees received national recognition as winners in the annual “Spotlight on Excellence” awards program, sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Council of Rural Electric Communicators.

Participants in the communications competition went head-to-head with colleagues from electric co-ops of similar sizes across the U.S. in 18 different categories. Electric cooperative communicators and marketing professionals submitted more than 750 entries in the Spotlight on Excellence program, now in its 26th year.

Tri-State and four of its members were honored with awards at the annual NRECA CONNECT ’14 conference held May 14-16 in San Antonio, Texas.

Tri-State and four of its members were honored with awards at the annual NRECA CONNECT ’14 conference held May 14-16 in San Antonio, Texas.

Tri-State received a Silver Award for its Network Magazine, which is distributed quarterly to Tri-State employees and its member systems. The Tri-State communications staff also received a Silver Award for its monthly electronic newsletter, e-Bulletin, as well as a Silver Award for its annual in-house Communications and Member Services Conference that attracts membership staff to headquarters each fall for this long-standing and popular two-day event. Continue reading ‘Tri-State, member systems receive ‘Spotlight on Excellence’ awards’

A shocking demonstration of electric safety

Farm-Safety-DaySan Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative (SLVREC), a Tri-State member co-op in Monte Vista, CO gave a demonstration on electric safety to 250 third graders that they won’t soon forget. SLVREC’s 12th annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day included a high voltage electric safety demonstration. Ray Martinez and Dave Mixa, the presenters from SLVREC, explained that the 7 and 8 year-olds were extremely attentive when they see the power of electricity in real life.  Martinez and Mixa discussed and showed the dangers of electricity, what to do if the child or the child’s family encounters a downed power line and how electricity works.

SLVREC educates children as well as adults on electric safety.  It sponsors the Louie the Lightning Bug program which is held in classrooms for first graders, as well as high voltage demonstrations for adults using a portable high voltage demonstration trailer. SLVREC also takes its show on the road and tailors safety demonstrations to an organization or group’s needs.

Tri-State trains educators on teaching electricity in classroom

Ag-in-the-classroom-01Tri-State has a longstanding reputation and strong commitment in its support of youth education programs aimed at empowering the leaders of tomorrow, as well as telling our story of the value that consumer-owned power brings to farms, ranches, businesses and communities served by the association’s 44 member co-ops.

Tri-State welcomed 12 school teachers and educators from around the country to our headquarters as part of the Ag in the Classroom program, an annual, free educators’ energy conference that was held May 15 and 16. ‘Making the Connection’ was this year’s theme and the tagline, “Energy + Agriculture = Success,” reinforces Tri-State’s commitment to enhancing the agricultural connection in our service territory. Continue reading ‘Tri-State trains educators on teaching electricity in classroom’

Second graders talk sustainability at Tri-State

Second-graders from a local school recently were guest presenters at HQ to talk about sustainability efforts at their school.

Second-graders from a local school recently were guest presenters at HQ to talk about sustainability efforts at their school.

If you think that American kids in our schools today don’t have much interest in weighty issues like sustainability, preserving our natural resources and saving energy, then you should pay a visit to Northglenn, Colo.’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Magnet Lab School, where kindergarten through eighth-grade students are gaining practical experience in dealing with “real world” problems.

Recently (May 15), the school’s approximately 50 second-graders were invited to hone their presentation skills before a volunteer panel of Tri-Staters in Westminster’s Hub Thompson conference center.

The event was organized in large part by Brenda Patricolo, a Tri-State projects accountant and mother of two students attending the STEM school. Patricolo, whose daughter, Brooklyn, was among the second-grade presenters, said that each of the kids gave about a five-minute presentation on some of the many aspects of renewable energy use and sustainability.  Continue reading ‘Second graders talk sustainability at Tri-State’

Rotational employees tour United Power’s headquarters

(Editor’s note: Thanks to Jason Musso, a headquarters-based rotational employee, for submitting the following story).

Ron Asche, United Power Chief Executive Officer, talks to Tri-State rotational employees.

Ron Asche, United Power Chief Executive Officer, talks to Tri-State rotational employees.

United Power hosted an event at their headquarters building in Brighton for the active and alumni Tri-State rotational employees on April 30.  The highly anticipated agenda  included a facility tour and an array of upper-level staff presentations.

The day began with Troy Whitmore, United’s Director of External Affairs welcoming the Tri-State group. He then introduced the group to various upper-level staff. Ron Asche, United’s Chief Executive Officer, gave the visitors a quick introduction and history of the cooperative, emphasizing that United covers 900 square miles of service territory and that the co-op purchases approximately 10% of Tri-State’s total member sales. Whitmore and Myke Weis, Manager of Operations, then conducted a tour of United’s facilities. Following the tour a variety of United Power employees gave presentations to provide insight into what goes on day-to-day in their cooperative. Continue reading ‘Rotational employees tour United Power’s headquarters’

Tri-State among proud sponsors of Colorado Leopold Conservation Award

Gary and Georgia Walker are the recipients of this year’s Colorado Leopold Conservation Award. They operate a 65,000-acre ranch near Pueblo-West, Colo.

Gary and Georgia Walker are the recipients of this year’s Colorado Leopold Conservation Award. They operate a 65,000-acre ranch near Pueblo-West, Colo.

Tri-State, San Isabel Electric Association and Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are proud to be among this year’s sponsors of the 2014 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award, which recognizes extraordinary achievement by private landowners in voluntary conservation. This year’s winners are Gary and Georgia Walker.

This award is named for renowned conservationist, Aldo Leopold.

Tri-State and its member systems are also helping to support the Leopold Award winners in Nebraska and Wyoming, which will be included in a more in-depth article appearing in the upcoming summer edition of the association’s Network Magazine.

On a massive 30-mile long spread near Pueblo-West, Colo., Gary and Georgia Walker, owners of the 65,000-acre Turkey Creek Ranch, have demonstrated a passion for protecting wildlife, rare plant species and an overall commitment to long-term land stewardship that is sure to inspire other farmers, ranchers and conservation leaders throughout the state and country. Continue reading ‘Tri-State among proud sponsors of Colorado Leopold Conservation Award’

Burlington field facility construction wraps up, experienced combustion turbine manager retires

After nearly eight months of construction, Tri-State’s Burlington, Colo.-based employees, comprising the transmission maintenance crew and the Burlington Generating Station group, will move into a new facility as soon as next week if all goes as planned, according to Ben Mayer, Tri-State’s general facilities manager.

Tri-State staff recently conducted a construction walk-through at the new Burlington field facility.

Tri-State staff recently conducted a construction walk-through at the new Burlington field facility.

The new building, which is sited on Burlington Station’s premises, approximately 6 miles north of the eastern Colorado town of the same name, is essentially a smaller version of the association’s Northern Colorado Maintenance Center (near Frederick, Colo.) with many of the same energy efficient features, such as skylights, in-floor heating in the garage bays and exterior LED lighting.

The new structure will also house the Burlington Station control room, which is being moved from the old on-site facility. Continue reading ‘Burlington field facility construction wraps up, experienced combustion turbine manager retires’

Tri-State sponsors Wyoming ag bookmark contest

Gigi Dennis congratulates Siobhan Lally, a winner in the Wyoming ag bookmark contest

Gigi Dennis congratulates Siobhan Lally, a winner in the Wyoming ag bookmark contest

Tri-State is proud to have provided sponsorship and judging for the ‘Ag in the Classroom’ bookmark contest designed to celebrate agriculture as an important part of Wyoming’s communities.  Students across Wyoming let their imaginations run wild as they depicted the essence of Wyoming’s agriculture by creating a bookmark.  On April 18, the winners were announced in Cheyenne at the Depot Museum.

Tri-State sponsored the Energy and Natural Resources category and, according to Gigi Dennis, Senior Manager of External Affairs, “It’s fun for Tri-State to participate in this contest and to see the creativity the students express through their artwork.  Under the Energy and Natural Resources Division, the students truly grasp the importance of Wyoming’s rich energy resources.”

The bookmark contest/celebration was open to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders from around the state with as many as 1,500 students throughout Wyoming competing in this year’s contest.  The contest has been going strong for 20 years and Tri-State is proud to have been involved for the past two years.  Continue reading ‘Tri-State sponsors Wyoming ag bookmark contest’

United Power marks 75 years of delivering consumer-owned power

United Power’s Troy Whitmore and Heidi Storz provided a historical presentation at the co-op’s 75th anniversary annual meeting before a group of approximately 700 guests on April 16, at the Adams County Fairground’s Waymire Dome.

United Power’s Troy Whitmore and Heidi Storz provided a historical presentation at the co-op’s 75th anniversary annual meeting before a group of approximately 700 guests on April 16, at the Adams County Fairground’s Waymire Dome.

From its humble beginnings in 1938 when it was first formed under the name Union Rural Electric Association to serve the farms and ranches of Colorado’s northern Front Range, Brighton, Colo.-based United Power has grown to become the state’s second largest (in terms of consumers served) electric co-op in the state with nearly 72,000 member-consumers on its distribution lines.

United Power recently (April 16) celebrated its “Powerful Past and Bright Future” at its 75th annual meeting and anniversary celebration held at the Adams County Fairgrounds. The event attracted nearly 1,000 guests, who were treated to a barbecue dinner, as well as the opportunity to visit informational exhibit booths and enjoy an evening of live entertainment provided by guitarist Dave Connelly. Continue reading ‘United Power marks 75 years of delivering consumer-owned power’

Tri-State, members continue to expand renewable portfolios

Both Tri-State and its member systems in Colorado and New Mexico continue to seek opportunities to expand their energy resources mix to include renewables such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.

On the Tri-State side of the renewable list, a significant portion of the energy it provides to its members is derived from renewable resources, including hydropower, wind and solar.  Tri-State delivers to its members 704 MW of renewable hydropower generated  from facilities across the west.  

DMEA’s South Canal Hydroelectric Plant is the largest local renewable project (in terms of capacity output) in the membership.

DMEA’s South Canal Hydroelectric Plant is the largest local renewable project (in terms of capacity output) in the membership.

Most of Tri-State’s purchased renewable resources are derived from two Colorado-based wind farms totaling 142 megawatts of wind capacity and the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility in northeastern New Mexico.

In 2013, the association signed an agreement prompting the expansion of the Colorado Highlands Wind farm in northeastern Colorado. Last fall, the site grew from 67 megawatts of capacity to 91 megawatts of output for Tri-State under a power purchase agreement. Continue reading ‘Tri-State, members continue to expand renewable portfolios’

San Isabel donates $10,000 of equipment to Huerfano County Fire Department

San-Isabel-donates-to-HCFDTri-State member San Isabel Electric recently donated $10,000 to the fire department to purchase two 4-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles for use in rural wildland firefighting.  The equipment is necessary in providing fire protection to approximately 820 square miles of service area in the eastern half of Huerfano County.

According to Huerfano County Fire Protection District Captain Paul Gomez, prior to the donation by San Isabel, firefighters used the Huerfano County Sheriff Department’s ATVs when needed.  This time consuming practice in some instances took away from firefighting efforts as a team member would leave the scene of the fire to pick up the equipment after an initial assessment of the situation.

“Having our own ATVs allows our fire department to respond immediately, saving time and it can prevent small fires from growing quickly into large fires,” said Gomez.   Continue reading ‘San Isabel donates $10,000 of equipment to Huerfano County Fire Department’

New Tri-State publications available

Tri-State’s premiere publication, the 2013 Tri-State annual report and the association’s quarterly (spring 2014) Network magazine are now available on Tri-State’s Web site.

Tri-State-2013-annual-reportThe theme of the annual report is “powered by people,” which features a visual design to showcase some of the more than 1,500 Tri-State employees working behind the scenes to keep the lights on and bring affordable and reliable power to its 44 member systems.  Click here to request a print version of the 2013 annual report.

Network-Spring-2014The Network magazine features a guest column by Jennifer Goss, Tri-State’s senior vice president of member relations, which focuses on the association’s goal of placing greater emphasis on member relations and communications.  Other stories in this issue include a feature on the National Western Stock Show, a small Wyoming co-op making a difference in the communities it serves, and a follow up article on how Mountain View Electric’s consumers are bouncing back in the wake of the Black Forest Fire.

Western Fuels – Colorado mines take top honors for safety, reclamation and innovation

Employees of both the New Horizon and the Colowyo mines can be especially proud of their operations, which received multiple awards and honors last week (April 15-17) at the Colorado Mining Association’s 116th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Both mines are owned and operated by Western Fuels-Colorado, a subsidiary company owned by Tri-State.

New Horizon Mine, which supplies Tri-State’s Nucla Station, was honored for safety, reclamation and environmental practices.

New Horizon Mine, which supplies Tri-State’s Nucla Station, was honored for safety, reclamation and environmental practices.

The National Western Mining Conference attracted nearly 1,000 attendees from throughout the mining industry and 110 exhibitors, including the ‘Keep Electricity Affordable’ campaign booth. The three-day mining event featured industry experts providing their views on the many challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

At the conference, Lee Boughey, senior manager of communications and public affairs, provided a presentation on Tri-State, its subsidiary mining operations and the importance of coal in Tri-State’s energy mix in assuring that the G&T continues to provide affordable power to its member systems.

Both Tri-State and Western Fuels-Colorado served as premiere sponsors of this year’s mining conference. Continue reading ‘Western Fuels – Colorado mines take top honors for safety, reclamation and innovation’

Co-ops celebrate Earth Day

2014-Earth-DayToday is Earth Day, an opportunity to promote the environment and celebrate efforts to preserve our resources. Cooperatives across the country, such as Clay Electric cooperative in Florida, have implemented creative programs to help protect their service territories. For example, when Clay Electric closed a substation in a national forest, rather than leave the site as-is, it worked to restore the site to its natural habitat so wildlife could thrive. To learn more about this program and other initiatives, visit NRECA’s web page that encourages co-ops to share their stories.

Continental Divide Electric and Tri-State secure sale to Gallup, N.M.

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (shown) and Tri-State will begin selling power to the city of Gallup, N.M this summer.

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (shown) and Tri-State will begin selling power to the city of Gallup, N.M this summer.

Once again, the cooperative spirit of consumer-owned cooperative power has brought another success story to the Tri-State membership family. In this case, it was a three-party collaboration between Tri-State, its member, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (Grants, N.M.), and the nearby city of Gallup, which was in search of a competitive priced electric power supplier to serve its community of approximately 21,000 residents for an eight-year term beginning this summer.

According to, Michael Martin, Tri-State’s business development manager for energy markets, the city of Gallup issued a request for proposal last fall in anticipation of replacing the power supply contract set to expire at the end of June 2014.

“Continental Divide expressed interest in collaborating on a proposal that they ultimately submitted to city officials in November,” explained Martin. That collaboration is essentially an arrangement in which Tri-State will sell the power to Continental Divide and Continental Divide will, in turn, resell that power to the city of Gallup. Continue reading ‘Continental Divide Electric and Tri-State secure sale to Gallup, N.M.’

Tri-State salutes its linemen

National-Lineman-Day-2014Today, April 18, is National Lineman Appreciation day and Tri-State honors all the dedicated linemen who work hard, under all sorts of weather conditions to keep the lights on.

There are currently 43 linemen within Tri-State’s transmission maintenance group who keep the power flowing over the association’s 5,300-mile transmission network. Add to that cadre of high voltage professionals the scores of linemen on call 24-hours-a-day to maintain the distribution lines of the 44 member systems that comprise Tri-State’s membership and ultimately provide electricity to more than 1.5 million people in four states.

Tri-State thanks its hardworking linemen for all they do!