Southwestern Electric Cooperative showcases renovations to local business leaders

Tri-State member Southwestern Electric Cooperative (Clayton, N.M.) held an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for business leaders, the local chamber of commerce, board members and consumers to check out the co-op’s renovated offices and recently constructed warehouse and service center on Sept. 27.

SWEC general manager Gary Rinker does the ribbon snipping honors at the co-op’s open house celebrating major renovations to its offices.

Gary Rinker, who serves as both the co-op’s general manager and a Tri-State director, provided tours of the modernized headquarters facilities, which features LED lighting and a ground-source heat pump.

Rinker, an industry veteran and long-time co-op employee, remembers attending movies in the same facility when the old Main Street building served as the town’s only theatre and later was converted to a bowling alley before the co-op moved in during the late 1970s.

Although Southwestern is a relatively small co-op (about 2,300 meters and less than 1,000 member-consumers) serving a sparsely populated area, its territory actually extends into four states. In addition to serving portions of Quay, Harding and Union counties in northeast New Mexico, it also serves members living in Las Animas County in Colorado as well as a few consumers in Oklahoma and Texas.

Southwestern also serves the second largest member load on the Tri-State system, the Occidental Petroleum Corporation’s CO2 processing plant, which draws a load of 67 megawatts.

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