Last week personnel from Tri-State’s GIS, engineering and maintenance groups were on site near Lyons, Colo., to assess the first of many member-owned transmission lines that will be transferred to the G&T’s ownership under the low-side member asset transfer project launched last year.
The first step in this extensive undertaking – that will ultimately result in Tri-State acquiring up to 260 transformers and 600 miles of transmission lines from the membership – kicked off with an assessment of Poudre Valley’s 115-kV Lyons Tap to Dow Flats line in Boulder County. John Olson, senior engineer and member of the low-side transition team, said they were on site to make a detailed survey and assessment of the line to determine its overall condition and to compile data on any structures, hardware and other equipment that may require repair or replacement when the assets are transferred to Tri-State.
GIS personnel were on site to assist in imputing details of the line into the Tri-State GIS data base and Poudre Valley personnel were also there to provide local knowledge about the line, such as access points to the line right-of-ways.
To accomplish this assessment, Tri-State personnel will patrol all of the line right-of-ways, examining each structure for condition and damage. That’s no small task, considering that this Poudre Valley acquisition alone is expected to involve the transfer of more than 70 miles of transmission lines and transformers and other high-voltage equipment inside 25 Poudre Valley-owned substations, according to Olson.
A total of 32 member systems have expressed interest in transferring their 100-kV and higher voltage assets to Tri-State. To date two members –Mountain Parks Electric and Gunnison County Electric – have completed asset transfers to Tri-State.
The driving force behind the three-year, low-side asset transfer project is to aggregate the increasingly complex federal regulatory oversight requirements for this equipment from the members to Tri-State and to provide consistent system-wide delivery point practices across Tri-State’s four-state power delivery system.