Burlington field facility construction wraps up, experienced combustion turbine manager retires

After nearly eight months of construction, Tri-State’s Burlington, Colo.-based employees, comprising the transmission maintenance crew and the Burlington Generating Station group, will move into a new facility as soon as next week if all goes as planned, according to Ben Mayer, Tri-State’s general facilities manager.

Tri-State staff recently conducted a construction walk-through at the new Burlington field facility.

Tri-State staff recently conducted a construction walk-through at the new Burlington field facility.

The new building, which is sited on Burlington Station’s premises, approximately 6 miles north of the eastern Colorado town of the same name, is essentially a smaller version of the association’s Northern Colorado Maintenance Center (near Frederick, Colo.) with many of the same energy efficient features, such as skylights, in-floor heating in the garage bays and exterior LED lighting.

The new structure will also house the Burlington Station control room, which is being moved from the old on-site facility.

Mayer and other Tri-State staff met with building contractors to review a “punch list” of mostly minor construction finishing details on May 2.

Jeff Chartier, former combustion turbine manager, assisted with oversight of many of the construction details.

Jeff Chartier to retire after 39-year career

Tri-State’s former combustion turbine manager, Jeff Chartier, will soon retire after 39 years of service at the G&T.

Tri-State’s former combustion turbine manager, Jeff Chartier, will soon retire after 39 years of service at the G&T.

Chartier, who managed the association’s four combustion turbine sites for many years, will hang up his Tri-State hard hat for the last time on July 15, after a distinguished 39-year career with the G&T. William Sandell has taken over in the position of combustion turbine manager.

The veteran eastern Colorado employee began his career with Tri-State in 1975 as an apprentice technician in Wray, Colo. He is Tri-State employee number 14.

During those early years in the 1970s, Tri-State functioned with just a handful of administrative and field employees, to maintain a small transmission network and operate its two, oil-fired, combustion turbine generating stations at Wray (where Chartier worked) and the 100-megawatt, oil-fired Burlington Station to the south. Both plants played a critical role through the late 1970s and 1980s to supply power during the spring and summer months to meet growing demand from irrigation pumping on Colorado’s eastern plains.

The Burlington Station crew members are, from left to right, Bryan Campbell, Juan Galindo, Jeff Chartier, Gina Miller, Sergio Baquera and Jason Carrillo.

The Burlington Station crew members are, from left to right, Bryan Campbell, Juan Galindo, Jeff Chartier, Gina Miller, Sergio Baquera and Jason Carrillo.

The association’s 200-megawatt Republican River Station, near Wray, was sold and relocated overseas in 1989. Burlington Station continues to play a key role in providing emergency backup generation.

Over the years, Chartier rose through the ranks, to become combustion turbine manager in 2000. Shortly after that time, Tri-State saw another period of rapid growth and the need for new generation.  In the early 2000s, the combustion turbine manager oversaw the construction of three new combustion turbine power plants on the Tri-State system – Limon, Frank R. Knutson and Pyramid generating stations.

As for retirement, Chartier says he is in the process of constructing a new workshop, where he intends to spend more time honing his skills in sculpture, woodworking, auto mechanics and restoration.

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