Archive for the 'Public Outreach' Category

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Tri-State sponsors Wyoming ag bookmark contest

Gigi Dennis congratulates Siobhan Lally, a winner in the Wyoming ag bookmark contest

Gigi Dennis congratulates Siobhan Lally, a winner in the Wyoming ag bookmark contest

Tri-State is proud to have provided sponsorship and judging for the ‘Ag in the Classroom’ bookmark contest designed to celebrate agriculture as an important part of Wyoming’s communities.  Students across Wyoming let their imaginations run wild as they depicted the essence of Wyoming’s agriculture by creating a bookmark.  On April 18, the winners were announced in Cheyenne at the Depot Museum.

Tri-State sponsored the Energy and Natural Resources category and, according to Gigi Dennis, Senior Manager of External Affairs, “It’s fun for Tri-State to participate in this contest and to see the creativity the students express through their artwork.  Under the Energy and Natural Resources Division, the students truly grasp the importance of Wyoming’s rich energy resources.”

The bookmark contest/celebration was open to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders from around the state with as many as 1,500 students throughout Wyoming competing in this year’s contest.  The contest has been going strong for 20 years and Tri-State is proud to have been involved for the past two years.  Continue reading ‘Tri-State sponsors Wyoming ag bookmark contest’

San Isabel donates $10,000 of equipment to Huerfano County Fire Department

San-Isabel-donates-to-HCFDTri-State member San Isabel Electric recently donated $10,000 to the fire department to purchase two 4-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles for use in rural wildland firefighting.  The equipment is necessary in providing fire protection to approximately 820 square miles of service area in the eastern half of Huerfano County.

According to Huerfano County Fire Protection District Captain Paul Gomez, prior to the donation by San Isabel, firefighters used the Huerfano County Sheriff Department’s ATVs when needed.  This time consuming practice in some instances took away from firefighting efforts as a team member would leave the scene of the fire to pick up the equipment after an initial assessment of the situation.

“Having our own ATVs allows our fire department to respond immediately, saving time and it can prevent small fires from growing quickly into large fires,” said Gomez.   Continue reading ‘San Isabel donates $10,000 of equipment to Huerfano County Fire Department’

Continental Divide Electric and Tri-State secure sale to Gallup, N.M.

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (shown) and Tri-State will begin selling power to the city of Gallup, N.M this summer.

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (shown) and Tri-State will begin selling power to the city of Gallup, N.M this summer.

Once again, the cooperative spirit of consumer-owned cooperative power has brought another success story to the Tri-State membership family. In this case, it was a three-party collaboration between Tri-State, its member, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (Grants, N.M.), and the nearby city of Gallup, which was in search of a competitive priced electric power supplier to serve its community of approximately 21,000 residents for an eight-year term beginning this summer.

According to, Michael Martin, Tri-State’s business development manager for energy markets, the city of Gallup issued a request for proposal last fall in anticipation of replacing the power supply contract set to expire at the end of June 2014.

“Continental Divide expressed interest in collaborating on a proposal that they ultimately submitted to city officials in November,” explained Martin. That collaboration is essentially an arrangement in which Tri-State will sell the power to Continental Divide and Continental Divide will, in turn, resell that power to the city of Gallup. Continue reading ‘Continental Divide Electric and Tri-State secure sale to Gallup, N.M.’

Tri-State salutes its linemen

National-Lineman-Day-2014Today, April 18, is National Lineman Appreciation day and Tri-State honors all the dedicated linemen who work hard, under all sorts of weather conditions to keep the lights on.

There are currently 43 linemen within Tri-State’s transmission maintenance group who keep the power flowing over the association’s 5,300-mile transmission network. Add to that cadre of high voltage professionals the scores of linemen on call 24-hours-a-day to maintain the distribution lines of the 44 member systems that comprise Tri-State’s membership and ultimately provide electricity to more than 1.5 million people in four states.

Tri-State thanks its hardworking linemen for all they do!

Tri-State sponsors awards at Nebraska State FFA Convention

Neb_FFATri-State’s education and leadership development programs are an important part of its longstanding community outreach efforts to assist in the development of the next generation of leaders in the many rural communities served by its membership.

In line with those educational efforts, the association recently sponsored and judged the Electrical Technology Entrepreneurship Placement Proficiency Awards event held at the Nebraska State Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Convention held in Lincoln, Neb.

Approximately 3,800 members of the Nebraska FFA descended on Lincoln for the 86th State FFA Convention held April 9-11.

At the conference, the future agrarians attend workshops and classes, listen to motivational speakers, meet with advisors and fellow FFA members, attend an annual career fair and compete in leadership skill events. Continue reading ‘Tri-State sponsors awards at Nebraska State FFA Convention’

Employee brings “Tri-State 101” to classroom

Some of Tri-State’s employees are tasked with educating students, educators and other groups on the many benefits that affordable, consumer-owned electric power provides in the daily lives of the millions of Americans. This effort is part of a multi-faceted Tri-State program to promote our industry and support the leaders of tomorrow.

Tri-State’s Jonathan Thornton recently visited with about 200 middle school kids at the Denver School of Science and Technology.

Tri-State’s Jonathan Thornton recently visited with about 200 middle school kids at the Denver School of Science and Technology.

With that youth education goal in mind, Jonathan Thornton, strategic communications specialist, recently (March 26) visited Denver’s Middle School of Science and Technology to give a brief presentation on the association for a “careers in energy” program organized by the school. Thornton was joined by several other energy industry presenters on the program.

The Tri-State presenter kept his young audience engaged during his 15-minute slide show and talk with plenty of back-and-forth questions and answers about how electricity is used in our everyday lives, where it originates and how Tri-State’s role as wholesale power supplier to electric cooperatives fits into overall power supply picture. Continue reading ‘Employee brings “Tri-State 101” to classroom’

Tri-State continues to support classroom education programs

Tri-State has a longstanding reputation and strong commitment in its support of youth education programs aimed at empowering the leaders of tomorrow, as well as telling our story of the value that consumer-owned power brings to farms, ranches, businesses and communities served by the association’s 44 member systems.

Many of the association’s youth education programs are spearheaded by Gigi Dennis, senior manager of external affairs.

This interesting and educational “Colorado Kids” reader on hydropower appeared recently in the Denver Post. It was produced with the help of Tri-State.

This interesting and educational “Colorado Kids” reader on hydropower appeared recently in the Denver Post. It was produced with the help of Tri-State.

One such program series that has proved to be very successful is conducted through Tri-State’s alliance with the non-profit Agriculture in the Classroom organizations. They help help roll out free classroom readers and teacher study guide materials, as well as fun and educational Web site content for elementary school students living in communities in all four states of the Tri-State member service territory. Continue reading ‘Tri-State continues to support classroom education programs’

San Luis Valley REC reaches out via social media, new radio show

SLVREC-Facebook-pageTri-State member, San Luis Valley REC dived into social media recently launching a Facebook page, twitter feed and a radio show to keep their members informed.  These communication methods can provide timely updates for routine maintenance, offer an easy way for members to receive information about their electric service and provide a way for the cooperative to give information about services, such as energy conservation.  They also plan to host a radio show Thursday mornings at 8:40 to discuss energy issues and provide timely information to their member-consumers.  SLVREC can be found at www.facebook.com/slvrec and www.twitter.com/slvrec.

Tri-State-sponsored power line R&D to be part of new center planned at DU

Research shows that carbon core conductor (shown) can operate at higher temperatures and move more energy than conventional power line materials.

Research shows that carbon core conductor (shown) can operate at higher temperatures and move more energy than conventional power line materials.

Among Tri-State’s many collaborations to gain maximum leverage for its research and development dollars is an on-going project at the University of Denver (Denver, Colo.) that is focused on advanced carbon-core transmission line conductor analysis. This research is expected to eventually lead to the development of power lines that carry a greater amount of energy than existing traditional aluminum and steel conductor.

The University of Denver (DU) recently announced that this conductor testing will continue as part of a new research center that will be largely funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. DU, in collaboration with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Michigan Technological University, received this five-year renewable grant to collaborate with corporations to further basic materials research.

The mission of the Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures is to provide a forum for industry/university cooperative research, including evaluation, design, modeling and the development of novel high voltage and high temperature materials and structures for energy transfer, aerospace, automotive and other applications. Continue reading ‘Tri-State-sponsored power line R&D to be part of new center planned at DU’

Employee services staff hits the road recruiting for Tri-State

As the calendar turned over to 2014, Tri-State’s employee services group was already geared up to begin their 2014 recruiting circuit, which stretched over approximately 910 miles, at 6 universities, in 4 states.

Tri-State engineer and School of Mines alumni, Ryan Hubbard, explains different internship opportunities to a student.

Tri-State engineer and School of Mines alumni, Ryan Hubbard, explains different internship opportunities to a student.

Beginning on January 28th, Gigi Eschenberg and Rachel Jaakkola of the employee services team visited the University of Colorado, followed by stops at Colorado State University (February 5), University of Nebraska (February 13) and University of Wyoming (February 18). Plac Herrera, also of employee services, headed south to New Mexico University on February 5.

Engineers Joey Caruso and Ryan Hubbard assisted with recruiting at their alma mater, Colorado School of Mines.

This year, Tri-State has planned for three new rotation employees, two electrical engineers and a computer science or IT graduate, as well as five summer interns. The five summer interns will all be electrical engineering majors working in the following areas: system protection, system planning, transmission maintenance, system operations and EMS/MDMS support. Continue reading ‘Employee services staff hits the road recruiting for Tri-State’

Touchstone Energy co-ops support ongoing PBS “Matchwits” competition

Tri-State staff captured this photo at the videotaping of the “Matchwits” program last fall in Pueblo.

Tri-State staff captured this photo at the videotaping of the “Matchwits” program last fall in Pueblo.

Teams of high school students from across Colorado are in their second month of a four-month, weekly half-hour airing of the “Matchwits” competition on PBS television that is being sponsored in part by Tri-State and many of its Touchstone Energy co-ops based in Centennial State. The program can be seen on your local Rocky Mountain PBS channel at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Students representing 16 high schools from across Colorado converged in Pueblo last November for a three-day, single-elimination tournament that was recorded at the Rocky Mountain PBS studios on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Questions in the televised tournament are in the categories of English, history, geography, science, current events, math and more.

Along with directly supporting youth and education with a statewide impact, Colorado’s Touchstone Energy co-ops are receiving a significant amount of on-air, online and in-person exposure and recognition through their group competition.

This is the 29th straight year Colorado’s public television network has organized and held the high school academic quiz show, but this year marks the first time that the program was opened up to schools throughout the entire state, as opposed to only those in southern Colorado. The program runs through mid-April. Click here to learn more about the “Matchwits” program on the PBS Web site.

Board caps planning session with NREL tour

Following a two-day strategic planning session held for the Tri-State board on Jan. 13-14, at Westminster headquarters, the association’s directors and several members of senior management staff boarded a chartered bus for an afternoon tour of a portion of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) complex, near Golden, Colo., followed by a visit to the site of NREL’s National Wind Technology Center in northern Jefferson County.

Dana Christiansen, with NREL, gives a brief overview presentation on the center prior to guided tours of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

Dana Christiansen, with NREL, gives a brief overview presentation on the center prior to guided tours of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

The tours were hosted by Dr. Bryan Hannegan and several of his colleagues at NREL. Hannegan, an NREL scientist and engineer, was a guest speaker at last week’s Tri-State monthly board meeting held Jan. 7-8 in Westminster.

Hannegan, who specializes in the field of renewable integration into the national power grid, provided a tour of NREL’s 182,000 square-foot, Energy System Integration Center, where about 200 of NREL’s 2,400 employees conduct simulations and research on small and utility scale technologies that are emerging in the marketplace.

A multiple vehicle hybrid vehicle charging station is being tested for client, Toyota Motor Co.

A multiple vehicle hybrid vehicle charging station is being tested for client, Toyota Motor Co.

This one-of-a-kind facility is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories with megawatt-scale testing capabilities, integrated electrical, thermal and fuel infrastructures, advanced data analysis and visualization capabilities. Their testing ranges from the “smart” energy efficient home, performance characteristics of energy storage systems, to the grid impact of multiple hybrid vehicle charging stations. Continue reading ‘Board caps planning session with NREL tour’

Rising from the ashes: Mountain View consumers rebuilding after deadly fire

It has been a little more than six months since the most destructive fire in Colorado history killed two people and destroyed 488 homes in the Black Forest area served by Tri-State member Mountain View Electric Association (Limon, Colo.).

At least a dozen new homes are now under construction in the area stricken by the Black Forest fire last June.

At least a dozen new homes are now under construction in the area stricken by the Black Forest fire last June.

Today, at least a dozen new homes are rising from the charred ruins and the co-op’s line crews are closing in on repairing service infrastructure destroyed in the blaze, according to Darryl Edwards, Mountain View Electric’s member services manager.

Edwards estimates that approximately 80 percent of the lines, poles, meters and other power supply equipment have been repaired or replaced in the impacted areas and according to El Paso County officials, approximately 90 construction permits had been issued in the Black Forest area by early December.

“We are now starting to shift our restoration efforts to lining up our contractors to begin clearing ‘hazard trees’ that pose a threat to our lines,” Edwards explained. “This is a major undertaking that could involve the cutting and removal of up to 20,000 trees — some of which are on private property and require landowner approval before we can cut them down,” he said.

The Black Forest fire destroyed 488 homes that were served by Tri-State member Mountain View Electric Association.

The Black Forest fire destroyed 488 homes that were served by Tri-State member Mountain View Electric Association.

Edwards pointed out that the co-op has received an extension from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through June of 2014 to complete this task. FEMA is shouldering 75 percent of the $5 million to $6 million cost of removing the hazard trees, as well as providing similar funding to assist El Paso County in removing dead or dying trees near roadways. Continue reading ‘Rising from the ashes: Mountain View consumers rebuilding after deadly fire’

Tri-State and its employees celebrate a season of giving

seasonofgivingTri-State and its workforce have brightened many lives in many ways this year – especially this recent holiday season.

As Christmas was celebrated last week, the Powering the West team felt it fitting to share some of the ways that the association and its employees have generously given their time and resources to help our neighbors in recent weeks.

Food Bank of the Rockies
In late November and early December, the east-side employee association organized a food drive at Tri-State headquarters and collected 400 pounds of food — equal to roughly 1600 meals — for Food Bank of the Rockies.

Craig Station employees helped raise nearly $1,000 this season for the community’s Salvation Army agency.

Craig Station employees helped raise nearly $1,000 this season for the community’s Salvation Army agency.

Salvation Army – Craig Services Unit
In mid-December, Craig Station employees volunteered for an entire weekend as Salvation Army bell ringers outside Craig’s City Market store. Many employees also brought their children along to foster volunteerism. Their efforts helped raise nearly $1,000 for the Salvation Army.

Ronald McDonald House Charities
Under the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives banner, Tri-State was once again a key sponsor of the Ronald McDonald House “Light the House” radiothon on KOSI radio, held Dec. 5. This year’s event set a new record, raising more than $170,000 for families in need at the Ronald McDonald Houses in the Denver area.

Nucla Cause & Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse
Employees of Nulca Station supported local families who are struggling financially by helping supply “Angel Baskets.” The baskets provide food, clothing, school supplies, prescription co-pays and more. Nucla Station also gave to the Montrose County Sheriff Posse’s West End Children’s Fund, which provides Christmas gifts to children of low-income households and to elderly citizens of the community. Continue reading ‘Tri-State and its employees celebrate a season of giving’

Western Fuels-Colorado now has an online presence

Visit www.westernfuelscolorado.org to learn more about Tri-State’s mining subsidiary operations.

Visit www.westernfuelscolorado.org to learn more about Tri-State’s mining subsidiary operations.

Through its management of the Colowyo and New Horizon mines, Tri-State subsidiary Western Fuels-Colorado has a productive and readily apparent presence on the landscape of the company’s service territory. With the launch of a new web site this month, Western Fuels-Colorado now has an online presence as well.

The new site, at www.WesternFuelsColorado.org, was developed by Tri-State’s communications team to help brand not only the subsidiary, but also the mining facilities themselves. With photographs and concise copy, the web site provides a location where the public, prospective employees, members of the media and others interested in learning more about the operations at Colowyo and New Horizon can go for information.

“The work done by Western Fuels-Colorado and the employees at our mining properties is essential to the success of Tri-State and its member systems,” said Mike Sorensen, senior manager of fuel and water resources. “And as hard as we have worked over the last few years to fully integrate Colowyo and New Horizon into the association’s operations and processes, at the same time we want to make sure Western Fuels-Colorado establishes an online identity and has a channel for sharing appropriate information.”

“On behalf of the team at Western Fuels-Colorado, I want to thank all of our colleagues who helped with this project – particularly Rachel Jaakkola, a rotation employee in employee services, who contributed significantly to the web site development during her time in the communications and public affairs department.”

The region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives help set new fundraising record

KOSI-Ronald-McDonald-House-radiothon_09KOSI Radio’s “Light the House” Radiothon, held on December 5 and sponsored in part the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, set a new fundraising record – exceeding the total amounts raised in the previous two years.

In a single day, more than $170,000 was raised for families in need at the Ronald McDonald Houses in the Denver area.

KOSI-Ronald-McDonald-House-radiothon_25The 13-hour event was broadcast live from the Aurora Ronald McDonald House near the new Children’s Hospital on the Fitzsimons Campus and featured families staying at the house, sponsors, medical professionals and more.

Ronald McDonald House provides temporary housing for families who live at least 60 miles outside the metro area–often in smaller rural communities–and whose children are receiving treatment at Denver area hospitals. The funds raised will help provide a warm, supportive alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable hospital waiting rooms, as well as home-cooked meals and private living quarters, and an extended network of support from others in similar situations. Learn more at www.ronaldhouse.org.

The region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will help “Light The House” tomorrow

The Ronald McDonald House provides a warm, supportive alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable hospital waiting rooms for out-of-town families.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a warm, supportive alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable hospital waiting rooms for out-of-town families.

Commitment to community is a key cooperative principle – and Tri-State and the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are demonstrating that commitment this season by supporting the 5th annual KOSI 101 and Ronald McDonald House Charities radiothon tomorrow, Dec. 5.

Helping raise money for the Ronald McDonald House is a great fit for Tri-State and its member systems. The charity provides temporary housing for families who live at least 60 miles outside the metro area — often in smaller rural communities — and whose children are receiving treatment at Denver area hospitals.

Providing home-cooked meals, companionship and support are a few of the invaluable ways that the Ronald McDonald House helps families during times of medical crisis.

Providing home-cooked meals, companionship and support are a few of the invaluable ways that the Ronald McDonald House helps families during times of medical crisis.

During the two weeks leading up to the radiothon, KOSI and numerous radio stations throughout Tri-State’s service territory in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming have been airing 60-second vignettes featuring the positive experiences of families who have stayed at the facility, followed by a message from Touchstone Energy cooperatives encouraging listeners to support the radiothon.

“Touchstone Energy cooperatives wholeheartedly embrace the idea of supporting our communities,” said Jim Van Someren, Tri-State communications manager. “In fact, it’s one of the core values on which the brand was founded. And because the Ronald McDonald House directly supports member-consumers of our co-op communities when they need it most, we are supporting the facility in the most effective ways we can.” Continue reading ‘The region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will help “Light The House” tomorrow’

Students “Matchwits” at annual high school academic competition

The team from Pikes Peak Christian High School (left) takes on competitors from La Junta High School in a preliminary match during last weekend’s “Matchwits” tournament in Pueblo.

The team from Pikes Peak Christian High School (left) takes on competitors from La Junta High School in a preliminary match during last weekend’s “Matchwits” tournament in Pueblo.

Students representing 16 high schools from across Colorado converged in Pueblo Nov. 8-10 to compete in the “Matchwits” tournament – the academic competition put on by Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) and sponsored by Tri-State and the rest of the state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

This is the 29th straight year Colorado’s public television network has organized and held the high school academic quiz show, but 2013 marks the first time the program was opened up to schools throughout the entire state, as opposed to only those in southern Colorado.

“When Rocky Mountain PBS approached us about sponsoring ‘Matchwits,’ we were immediately intrigued,” said Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren. “Then when we learned it was going statewide for the first time, we saw it as a natural fit and the perfect project for Tri-State and all the electric co-ops to support.”

The three-day, single-elimination tournament was held and recorded at Rocky Mountain PBS’ studios on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo. It featured the top 16 schools that had advanced from the original 70 qualifying schools.

Each 30-minute match consisted of three rounds, with subject matter including, but not limited to, English, history, geography, science, math and current events. Former TV meteorologist Craig Eliot played the role of host and quizmaster. Click here for a sneak preview. Continue reading ‘Students “Matchwits” at annual high school academic competition’

New online game aims to teach kids fun and energizing way to Power Up

Power-Up-promoTri-State, together with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, has launched an exciting new online game to help teach young students in classrooms across the U.S. about the value of electricity and how it’s used to power different regions of the country.

The idea for the “Power Up” energy game was born more than a year ago at the national “Ag in the Classroom” conference in Loveland, Colo. It was there that Gigi Dennis, Tri-State’s senior manager of external affairs, learned about the educational outreach activities of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and began exploring partnership opportunities. “It made sense to partner with Farm Bureau because their philosophy is in sync with the co-op philosophy,” said Dennis.

The foundation’s “My American Farm” website was created to teach agricultural literacy to consumers and the public through interactive computer games. Specifically targeting kids in grades 3-5, students learn where food comes from and how those products get from the farm to their dinner plate. The online, interactive aspect of the educational project lets students learn about agriculture while having fun.

In addition to family fun activities, links and educator resources, a number of different games on the site reinforce core American educational curriculum standards of science, math, geography and language arts. Continue reading ‘New online game aims to teach kids fun and energizing way to Power Up’

Tri-State joins co-ops nationwide in celebrating National Cooperative Month

co-op-month-logoEvery October, cooperatives are recognized for the qualities that make the business model unique, including local democratic control, commitment to the communities they serve, special benefits and services, and the return of capital credits back to members.

Tri-State and its 44 member systems are a proud part of America’s cooperative network, which, in its entirety, employs more than 850,000 people.

“Cooperatives — and especially electric cooperatives — are special,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA. “We have an obligation to provide reliable, affordable and safe electricity, but we take that a step further. We also have a responsibility to support our members, enrich schools and enhance our communities.”

Tri-State is one of the largest electric co-ops in a nationwide network of more than 900 electric cooperatives and public power districts serving 42 million people in 47 states. The association and its members have a rich history and were built on a strong foundation of the seven cooperative principles. Continue reading ‘Tri-State joins co-ops nationwide in celebrating National Cooperative Month’

Tri-State supports New Mexico’s “Careers in Energy Week”

GIELogoThe New Mexico Center for Energy Workforce Development is helping celebrate “Careers in Energy Week” across the state Oct. 14-20. Tri-State is a member of the nonprofit consortium of electric, natural gas and nuclear utilities and Escalante Station’s Sherry Garcia serves on the Careers in Energy Week committee.

A number of activities are planned throughout the week to promote energy jobs in New Mexico, including an essay contest and tour of Escalante Station by students from nearby Thoreau High School.

Colowyo employees operate “Heavy Metal Monsters” on Weather Channel

A Weather Channel cameraman captures some of the action at Colowyo Mine as a 240-ton haul truck lumbers by.

A Weather Channel cameraman captures some of the action at Colowyo Mine as a 240-ton haul truck lumbers by.

The long-awaited airing of a workplace reality TV program called “Heavy Metal Monsters,” featuring employees working at Colowyo Mine in western Colorado, is scheduled to air on the Weather Channel on Monday evening, Oct. 7.

The 30-minute show will run at 7 p.m. on many of the region’s cable television and satellite systems. However, check your local listings, as the exact time of airing by some providers may vary between 6 and 8 p.m.

The Weather Channel program’s three-member production crew visited Tri-State’s subsidiary-owned Colowyo Mine last March to film a segment on the men and woman who operate some of the world’s largest industrial machines — in this case, to extract and ship 2.3 million tons of coal a year to Tri-State’s 1,311-megawatt Craig Station, located about 27 miles northeast of the massive mine operation.

“The crew, which has filmed large equipment all over the world, was very impressed with the equipment we have here at our site,” recalls Mike Gush, Colowyo’s senior health and safety specialist. Gush and Stephen Laramore, the mine’s safety and health manager, coordinated the film crew’s visit at the mine and made sure they stayed out of harm’s way during their four days of filming. Continue reading ‘Colowyo employees operate “Heavy Metal Monsters” on Weather Channel’

Teens learn about Tri-State at Colorado Construction Career Days

The 11th annual, two-day Colorado Construction Career Days event, which attracts more than 1,600 high school students and educators from across the state, kicked off yesterday (Sept. 24) at the Adams County Fairgrounds north of Denver with more than 60 companies, including Tri-State, represented.

Tri-State’s Wayne Martin (left) and Clint White explain a few of the math formulas involved in a lineman’s job.

Tri-State’s Wayne Martin (left) and Clint White explain a few of the math formulas involved in a lineman’s job.

This youth career expo is an industry-sponsored event for high school students in grades 10 through 12, designed to expose them to various industrial sectors including building, highway, engineering, energy and architecture.

Many of the companies offer demonstrations and activities that allow students to participate in various exercises, helping to engage and educate them about some of the career opportunities that may be available to them in the future.

Small groups of students are escorted to various company sites by construction industry volunteers who serve as a source of information about the businesses, as well as guides to the activities that are being offered. Continue reading ‘Teens learn about Tri-State at Colorado Construction Career Days’

2013 Pedal the Plains tours Colorado co-op country

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (behind podium) and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia (far left), joined by some Colorado FFA kids, kick off day one of the 2013 Pedal the Plains bicycle tour.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (behind podium) and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia (far left), joined by some Colorado FFA kids, kick off day one of the 2013 Pedal the Plains bicycle tour.

Approximately 750 cyclists participated in the second annual Pedal the Plains Bicycle Tour this past weekend (Sept. 20-22), covering 174 miles across the sprawling plains of southeast Colorado.

The state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives were well represented for the second year in a row, with a 12-member team saddling up for the three-day tour that kicked off and ended in the farming and ranching community of Eads – which is served by Tri-State member co-op Southeast Colorado Power Association (La Junta, Colo.).

“We were excited to have it – it brought a lot of people into our town, said Marilyn Baxter, mayor of Eads. “We hope they like what they saw.”

The route also included overnight stops in the towns of Lamar and La Junta, where the electric co-ops hosted one of many interactive and informational booths, coordinated by the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Riders were treated to live music in the three host communities, along with beer gardens, local food fare, games and contests. Continue reading ‘2013 Pedal the Plains tours Colorado co-op country’

San Miguel Power creates LED pilot program

Telluride-LED-streetlightsTri-State member system San Miguel Power Association (Nucla, Colo.) has created a new pilot program to test the viability of LED streetlights throughout the electric co-op’s service area.

San Miguel Power’s key accounts executive Ken Haynes says the pilot program was created in accordance with SMPA goals to “increase efficiency, reliability and reduce costs.”

Tri-State linked to grad student’s EV speed record

cycleAlthough Tri-State did not fund Eva Håkansson’s (shown with her husband) project to build an electric motorcycle that recently set a new world speed record of 212 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats, she acknowledged both Tri-State and the Western Area Power Administration’s support of her studies by displaying their logos on her unique custom-built EV.

According to Art Mander, Tri-State’s delivery resource manager, Hakansson is a graduate student at the University of Denver, where she served on a project team that Tri-State is helping to fund with research dollars aimed at advanced carbon core conductor technologies to improve transmission efficiency.

To learn more about Eva’s need for speed you can click here to view her blog site.

Junior Livestock Sale celebrates 50 years of supporting youth in agriculture

Kyndal Reitzenstein (far right) proudly shows off her grand champion steer, Otto, at the Colorado State Fair’s 2013 Junior Livestock Sale in Pueblo.

Kyndal Reitzenstein (far right) proudly shows off her grand champion steer, Otto, at the Colorado State Fair’s 2013 Junior Livestock Sale in Pueblo.

For the eighth year in a row, Tri-State, the Colorado Rural Electric Association and the rest of Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives were well represented at the Colorado State Fair (Pueblo, Colo.) in support of the 4-H and Future Farmers of America kids participating in the annual Junior Livestock Sale (Aug. 27).

Kyndal Reitzenstein, a 19-year-old from Kersey in Weld County – whose family’s ranch is powered by Tri-State member co-op Poudre Valley REA – walked away as the event’s big winner after her grand champion steer sold for a record amount of $57,000. “This is my last year competing,” Reitzenstein said with a bit of nostalgia, prior to watching her 1,335-pound bovine go to the high bidder, Pueblo businessman Sam Brown.

“His name is Otto [the steer], but there should be an ‘L’ in front of his name because he hit the jackpot,” quipped Nick Bonham, who covered the event for the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper.

Tri-State communications department personnel worked with their member co-op colleagues on pre-event sponsorship planning activities, while a number of executive staff members – including Ken Anderson, Ken Reif and Barbara Walz – participated with the Denver Rustlers buying group, a team of Colorado civic/business leaders and politicians led by Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton.

Prospective sellers (left) meet and greet prospective buyers (right) outside the arena before the bidding begins.

Prospective sellers (left) meet and greet prospective buyers (right) outside the arena before the bidding begins.

“Colorado’s 4-H and FFA youth work tirelessly throughout the year to earn a spot in this show,” said State Fair general manager Chris Wiseman. “We would like to thank our generous sponsors and bidders for their participation in the sale. They are instrumental in making it a success.” Continue reading ‘Junior Livestock Sale celebrates 50 years of supporting youth in agriculture’

Mountain View Electric recovering from Black Forest Fire

Mountain View Electric line crews cut away dead tree limbs threatening service on their distribution lines.

Mountain View Electric line crews cut away dead tree limbs threatening service on their distribution lines.

More than two months after the devastating Black Forest Fire was finally extinguished — leaving two people dead, approximately 500 homes destroyed and yet-to-be tallied millions of dollars in property losses — Tri-State member system Mountain View Electric Association (Limon and Falcon, Colo.) is making steady progress in rebuilding more than 40 miles of line and other power supply infrastructure.

The blaze, which was reported on June 10, raged for 10 days before being declared fully contained on June 20.

In addition to the damage to Mountain View’s distribution system, Tri-State east-side maintenance crews were called to the scene to assist the co-op with restoration efforts as well as replace burned down structures on two of the G&T’s transmission lines serving the area. All of Tri-State’s system service in the area was restored by the evening of June 14.

As for Mountain View’s system, about 50 percent of the 41 miles of damaged line have been rebuilt, according to Claud Hugley, the co-op’s operations manager. However, Hugley also pointed out that, “It could be six months or more before the system impacted by the fire is completely reconstructed, depending on a number of factors — including the severity of this winter and how soon our consumers are able to secure the necessary permits for demolition and reconstruction of a new residence.” Continue reading ‘Mountain View Electric recovering from Black Forest Fire’

Wyoming State Fair draws big numbers

Wyoming-Fair-2013Wyoming’s 101st annual state fair was another big success this year, drawing visitors and competitors from across the Cowboy State (and beyond) last week. Tri-State and Wyoming’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives were proud sponsors of the eight-day celebration which featured concerts, livestock shows, a parade, PRCA rodeos and much more.

Instead of trying to convey the event in words, we thought we’d share the experience in a series of photographs taken by communications coordinator Mary Peck during her recent visit to Douglas, Wyo. View her photo gallery here.

Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives tee off for a good cause

Golf-Classic-logoThe second annual Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Golf Classic was held Aug. 19 at Perry Park Country Club outside Larkspur, Colo. This year’s tournament drew twice the number of participants compared to the inaugural event in 2012, with 140 golfers teeing off on a brilliantly clear summer morning.

Once again the event was organized and hosted by Tri-State, member co-op Mountain View Electric Association (Limon, Colo.) and the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. And once again, $5,000 was raised and presented to Feeding Colorado, an association of five Feeding America food banks throughout Colorado, including Food Bank of the Rockies.

“We couldn’t accomplish our mission without the generous support from our partners like the state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives,” said Feeding Colorado manager of corporate relations Buck Boze, who was on hand to accept the check on behalf of the organization. “The $5,000 raised here today will provide 20,000 meals that we’ll distribute to people in need across the state through our five regional food banks,” he explained.

Touchstone Energy mascot CFL Charlie made an appearance at the golf tournament — taking on all comers in a putting contest.

Touchstone Energy mascot CFL Charlie made an appearance at the golf tournament — taking on all comers in a putting contest.

The full field of golfers included participants from Tri-State, several of its member systems and the Colorado Rural Electric Association – along with representatives from numerous related organizations throughout the area. Continue reading ‘Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives tee off for a good cause’