Tri-State construction services crews tackle a flurry of system projects

Summertime is always a busy period for Tri-State crews and contractors as they focus on the favorable weather window to complete a long list of necessary improvements at the various membership delivery points around the system before the snow starts to fly.

Cheyenne and Sidney-based construction services crews install new circuit breakers at the Big Sandy Substation.

Cheyenne and Sidney-based construction services crews install new circuit breakers at the Big Sandy Substation.

Earlier this week, Tri-State’s e-Newsbreaker staff caught up with construction services superintendent Jeff Lines at the Limon, Colo., substation to find out about some of the projects that he and his 13-member team of specialists have on their collective plate for the remainder of the summer and fall.

Lines oversees three construction teams based in Cheyenne, Wyo., Sidney, Neb., and a New Mexico crew based at Rio Rancho.

The west-side transmission maintenance crews, which are managed by Mac Fellin in Montrose, Colo., have their own group of construction specialists to tackle projects for Tri-State’s western system.

The east-side construction crews recently wrapped up a project at Vernon Tap, near Wray, Colo., which entailed the installation of new breakers and other reconstruction activities. That site was re-energized during the past week.

A new Tri-State control building is lifted into the enlarged Limon Substation.

A new Tri-State control building is lifted into the enlarged Limon Substation.

Construction personnel from Sidney and Cheyenne will soon complete their project at the Big Sandy Substation, located about five miles north of Limon, where they are replacing two reactor circuit breakers.

Back in Limon, Tri-State contractors are engaged in a major expansion and upgrade of the Limon Substation that serves member co-ops Mountain View Electric (Limon, Colo.) and K.C. Electric (Hugo, Colo.). Tri-State crews have staged and electrically configured three of the association’s mobile substations at the site to keep the power flowing while the entire 115-kV high-side of the substation is upgraded.

These improvements include a 115-kV ring bus installation and retrofitting existing breakers, as well as updating the substation’s control scheme from the old 48-volt DC scheme to the Tri-State substation standard of 125-volt DC operation.

The vastly enlarged substation enclosure will also accommodate a third transformer, which will add capacity and reliability at the site, according to Lines. If all goes as planned, the revamped Limon Substation will be energized by mid-October.

Tri-State’s Rio Rancho-based construction services crew also has been on the go, keeping up with multiple member requests, including upgrades at Springer Substation (serving member Springer Electric) near Raton, N.M. This site is undergoing circuit breaker replacements, as well as improvements to the control and protection schemes inside the control building.

Tri-State’s Jeff Lines (right) discusses the Limon Substation construction schedule with a contractor.

Tri-State’s Jeff Lines (right) discusses the Limon Substation construction schedule with a contractor.

The southern construction crew also has been working at the Grants Substation (for member Continental Divide Electric), where they are replacing transformers, as well as making improvements at the Dona Ana Substation, near Las Cruces.

In New Mexico, Sage Williams, substation construction electrical foreman, leads the team of Don Bishop, Jacob Martin, George Salzmann and Sean McNulty.

Greg Huus, substation construction electrical foreman, oversees the Cheyenne-based construction crew. They are Clint Chavez, Gary Curtis, Kyle Gordon and Jason Swope.

Galen “Stick” Styskal, substation apparatus construction foreman, heads up the Sidney-based duo of Jacob Miller and Tracy Lies.

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