Niobrara closing marks third member asset transfer to Tri-State

Sheldon Albertson, general manager of Tri-State member system Niobrara Electric (Lusk, Wyo.), was at headquarters recently for a landmark event — the transfer of the co-op’s 100-KV and higher assets to Tri-State, marking the third member to do so under the G&T’s three-year low-side asset transfer project.

Niobrara GM, Sheldon Albertson (red shirt) is flanked by Tri-Staters, left to right, Stephanie Copeland, Claire Vigesaa and Ken Hoguta who were key in completing the asset transfer with Niobrara Electric.

Niobrara’s asset transfer was preceded by closings for Mountain Parks Electric (Granby, Colo.) in July and Gunnison County (Gunnison, Colo.) in early August. “We hope to close seven more members before the end of the year,” said Claire Vigesaa, member support specialist for the low-side transition team.

Tri-State assesses and pays net book value for the member assets, which in the case of Niobrara was a transformer, control building, a battery system and various high-side equipment at the co-op’s Podolak Substation near Lusk, Wyo.

A total of 32 member systems have expressed interest in transferring their 100-KV and higher assets to Tri-State. The transition team estimates that this undertaking could add up to 260 transformers, 600 miles of transmission line, scores of circuit switchers, batteries substation control buildings and other equipment to Tri-State’s power delivery system.

The asset transfer project, under board policies 109 and 110, was approved and implemented in 2010. The driving force behind this project is to aggregate the increasingly complex 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.

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