The official lighting ceremony of the 2010 Capitol Christmas tree took place Dec. 7 on the U.S. Capitol’s west front lawn with festive fanfare. For the first time ever, Wyoming provided the nation’s capitol with “The People’s Tree” in celebration of Christmas. The 67-foot Engelmann spruce, from the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson, will be displayed through the end of the month.
Keeping with tradition, one child from the tree’s state — this year it was sixth-grader Daniel Sitter of Fairview, Wyo. — lit the tree with the Speaker of the House. Music was provided by the U.S. Navy Band and the Cheyenne All-City Children’s Chorus. The 83-year-old spruce is decorated with thousands of LED lights and more than 5,000 ornaments created by the people of Wyoming within this year’s theme of “Wyoming-Forever West.”
Tri-State was one of the contributors to the project this year, gaining exposure throughout the nation with the G&T’s logo featured on the semi-truck that transported the tree on its tour of 22 Wyoming towns and across nine states before arriving in Washington, D.C.
Three FFA students, Windsor High School agriculture education teacher Nathan Clark and Don Thorn, executive director of the Colorado FFA Foundation, stopped by Tri-State’s headquarters to thank board members for their long-standing participation and financial support of the FFA organization.
The board has a history of contributing to the state wide 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 states’ elected officials. “We’re looking forward to an increased, mutually beneficial partnership in the future with Tri-State, in ways like trying to promote Tri-State as a potential employer to our students,” said Thorn.
While at Tri-State, the group met with Board Chairman Rick Gordon, visited with other board members and were treated to a tour of the operations center. They also promoted the Colorado FFA Foundation’s Muscle Car Give-a-Way, a raffle contest to win a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. All proceeds benefit FFA; tickets may be purchased online for $5 each at www.coloradoffafoundation.org.
Tri-State filed its 20-year Electric Resource Plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Nov. 30. The filing provides an assessment of Tri-State’s existing resource mix and electric sales forecast, and discusses various alternatives for meeting the future system needs of its 44 member cooperatives. The filing will also be submitted to the Western Area Power Administration.
The resource plan identifies a six-year resource acquisition period in which Tri-State could add new generation resources. In order to meet its member cooperatives’ renewable portfolio mandates and further diversify its generation portfolio, Tri-State will need to acquire additional renewable resources in the next three to four years. These resources are in addition to the new renewable resources from the 51-megawatt Kit Carson Windpower Project near Burlington, Colo., and the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar photovoltaic project in northeastern New Mexico, as well as renewable energy projects developed locally by Tri-State’s member cooperatives.