Wheat Belt teens learn about Tri-State

WB_Student_tour_-_08250Earlier this week in Westminster (April 20), a number of Tri-State staff members had the pleasure of hosting a half-day tour and orientation program for a small group of Sidney High School students, accompanied by Wheat Belt Public Power District’s (Sidney, Neb.), CEO, Tim Lindahl and Mark Cape, lineman for the western Nebraska member system.

The six visiting students arrived late Monday morning at headquarters for a packed agenda that began with presentations from Susan Hunter, business development manager, on Tri-State’s various generation resources and Robert Rojas, senior manager of transmission maintenance, who discussed some of the procedures that his crews follow to keep the lights on for our members, including live line procedures that require working on and around energized equipment.

Following a working luncheon that included a question and answer session, the teens and member system staffers were led on tours of the dispatch arena in the operations center by Mike Houglum, dispatch manager, followed by a visit to the headquarters energy marketing center hosted by Janelle Marriott-Gill, market training and regulatory compliance coordinator.

Later, the Wheat Belt visitors were shuttled to Tri-State’s Northern Colorado Maintenance Center, where they received walk-throughs and hands on demonstrations of the association’s transformer, substation and telecommunications training trailers that Tri-State’s instructors use to teach apprentice level employees.

What better way to wrap-up a Tri-State tour than to get a first-hand look at where some of the power is produced for their local co-op? Plant manager Richard Rhoads was happy to oblige, by providing a brief tour of Tri-State’s 272-megawatt, natural gas-fired J.M. Shafer Station located near Fort Lupton, Colo.

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