Groundbreaking ceremony launches Wayne Child Substation

Wayne Child (center) participated in the ceremonial groundbreaking with other directors of the High West Energy board.

Colleagues, friends and family of long-time High West Energy (Pine Bluffs, Wyo.) and Tri-State director Wayne Child gathered May 3 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new Tri-State substation just east of Cheyenne that will be named for the respected director. The Wayne Child Substation will be located south of the new Archer Development Complex currently being constructed by Laramie County and will provide electrical power to local customers and upgrade the reliability of the existing transmission line system. It will be constructed in two phases and will eventually occupy 30 acres.

Phase I will serve Tri-State member co-op High West Energy, meeting the load for the Archer Development Complex in 2012. It involves construction of an access road, a 5.5-acre distribution substation, a storm water detention pond and a 230-kilovolt ‘tie-line’ to the existing Archer Substation owned and operated by the Western Area Power Administration. “The Wayne Child Substation will provide the Laramie County Archer Complex with a very reliable energy source as well as providing backup to adjacent area substations for many years,” said Lloyd Sisson, engineering manager at High West Energy.

Phase II involves connecting Tri-State’s existing Laramie River Station to Story 345-kilovolt transmission line to increase system reliability and could begin as soon as 2014.

Combining High West Energy and Tri-State equipment into one facility increases efficiencies and minimizes the facility footprint and environmental effects. The project will consolidate and more efficiently serve both Tri-State’s need to increase system reliability and High West Energy’s need to provide electrical service to Laramie County’s new Archer Development Complex.

The legacy of Wayne Child

Two years ago, the board of directors of High West Energy voted unanimously to name the new substation for Wayne Child, pointing to his significant contributions to High West Energy, Tri-State and Basin Electric. “Wayne Child’s many years of leadership have brought a lot of success and progress to the rural electric industry and it is fitting that we attach his name to this new Tri-State substation to show our appreciation for his many contributions and continued support of consumer-owned power in the West,” said Joel Bladow, Tri-State’s senior vice president of transmission.

In 37 years, Child has spearheaded the transformation of High West Energy from a simple wires and pole company to a leader in U.S. distribution cooperatives with a GIS/GPS system, AMR meter technology, up-to-date equipment and the highest standards of reliability.  The Cheyenne-area native has served on numerous boards and committees over the years – including the Wyoming Rural Electric Association — and supported many other state and national organizations.

Child has served on Tri-State’s board for 29 years and as assistant secretary for 25 of them. During his Tri-State tenure, Child helped oversee the Colorado-Ute acquisition and Plains G&T merger. In the early 1990s, he contributed key leadership to take on Pacific Power & Light in upholding the “all-requirements” contract – a historic and successful fight. Together with other members of the board, Child also helped create Tri-State’s highly successful Energy Efficiency Products program 27 years ago, which set standards and incentives for saving energy, purchasing high efficiency products and using electricity in the most efficient manner possible.


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