Tri-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.
Archive for the 'Public Outreach' Category
Page 2 of 8
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’
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.
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’
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.
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.
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.
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’
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.).
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.
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 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.
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’
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.”
KOSI 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.
The 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.
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.
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 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’
Tri-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’
Every 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’
The 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.
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’
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.
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’
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’s key accounts executive Ken Haynes says the pilot program was created in accordance with SMPA goals to “increase efficiency, reliability and reduce costs.”
Although 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.
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.
“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’
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’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.
The 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.
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’
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) released a video yesterday (Aug. 12) that gives a voice to the 900-plus electric cooperatives and their 42 million consumer members that oppose the President Obama’s climate proposal using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide during a fragile economic recovery.
“Rural communities have a great story to tell about how they are innovating, using new technologies and leading in energy efficiency. It’s our responsibility to communicate the importance of affordable energy to the communities cooperatives serve and tell their story on how we are pursuing our energy future,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA (pictured above, middle).
“The next few months are a critical time to unite behind that message and let policymakers know where we stand on the issues, as well as how important affordable energy is to us and the American economy,” Emerson said.
The two-minute video is the first action in a coordinated campaign that underscores the dramatic impact new regulations could have on much of the country’s electric generation and calls on consumers to join the united campaign.
NRECA is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.
Tri-State is again supporting Food Bank of the Rockies through the continuation of a sponsorship of the agency’s eastern Colorado Mobile Pantry program.
With weekly food distribution sites in the eastern Colorado towns of Brush, Burlington, Haxtun, Holyoke and Sterling, the agency is successfully reaching individuals and families living in part of the heart of Tri-State’s service area.
“This is part of our community outreach, to be supportive of our distribution co-ops and their constituencies,” said Gigi Dennis, Tri-State’s senior manager of external affairs. “Some people in that area have to choose between food, medicine and electricity. This is designed to take some of the pressure off, by providing food to those in need.”
FBR’s Mobile Pantry program is helping to keep pace with the increased demand for food assistance in rural communities where partner agencies may not exist but the need is abundant. Last year the program distributed a total of 1.7 million meals to 25,359 people at 11 rural sites throughout eastern Colorado. FBR, whose operating overhead is just 4 percent, can convert every dollar it receives into four meals.
“Food Bank of the Rockies is grateful for Tri-State’s generous support of our rural mobile pantry program,” said Kim Ruotsala, chief development officer of FBR. “The partnership has a measurable impact as we work to strengthen and empower our communities.”
Community centers and churches post information about when and where local weekly distributions will take place. Families are able to fill a 40 pound box with canned soup and tuna, crackers, milk, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, pasta, bread, frozen meat and more.
Later this month, Tri-State and the rest of Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are sponsoring their second annual charity golf tournament in Larkspur, Colo., with part of the proceeds also being provided to a number of food banks throughout rural Colorado.
Tri-State and Wyoming’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are proud to continue a tradition of supporting the Wyoming State Fair, which kicks off its eight-day run Aug. 10 in Douglas.
The state’s electric co-ops are sponsoring the very popular Mutton Bustin’ event and a feature brand new to the fair this year – a dedicated Kids’ Zone, which will offer age-appropriate entertainment and activities and a place for parents to relax.
Focusing on the youth of the communities we serve is a good fit for Wyoming’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and the 101-year-old Wyoming State Fair.
Throughout its evolution, the fair has continued to uphold its original purpose – to serve as an agriculturally focused event with an emphasis on education and youth activities. It remains the largest youth competition in the state.
“Buckles, Boots and Blue Ribbons” is the theme for the 2013 edition of the fair. The eight-day celebration will feature a parade through downtown Douglas, concerts by country music stars Hunter Hayes and Brantley Gilbert, PRCA rodeos, a carnival, exhibits, livestock shows and competitions, the Wyoming state fiddle championship and much more.
Nearly 100 high school-aged teens from Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma were lucky enough to enjoy most of last week away from the sweltering summer heat, among the whispering pines at Glen Eden Resort where they attended the 2013 Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp located north of Steamboat Springs, Colo.
The teenagers’ five-day enrollment and expenses at the camp are covered, thanks to the sponsorship and support of their local electric co-ops (including many Tri-State members), the Colorado Rural Electric Association and the Colorado Electric Educational Institute.
The annual co-ed camp event mixes the typical summertime fun and recreation, such as a swimming, hiking and whitewater rafting, with leadership, learning and team building activities. Continue reading ‘Cooperative youth camp offers fun, leadership and co-op education’
Approximately 30 guests mainly representing business and commerce interests, government and various agricultural industries attended a Tri-State headquarters open house last week, organized and hosted by the association’s government relations staff.
The three-and-a-half-hour agenda included a luncheon, a tour of the operations center dispatch area and the energy markets department, along with several presentations provided by Tri-State staff.
In addition to providing visitors with an overview of the association and showcasing some of Tri-State’s daily operations in the dispatch center and energy markets department, the program provided an opportunity for Tri-State and Colorado Rural Electric Association’s staff to thank these organizations for their support to Tri-State and CREA in their opposition to Colo. Senate Bill 252.
“While our joint effort ultimately did not succeed in that case, I believe our unified, coordinated campaign made a major impression on the governor,” said Kent Singer, CREA executive director and one of the program’s keynote speakers. “It’s our hope that we can continue to work together in the future when important issues present themselves that would impact our rural constituents across Colorado.” Continue reading ‘Industry and government officials attend HQ open house’
Approximately 300 students from the Big Sandy School District — which is electrically served by Tri-State member co-op Mountain View Electric Association (Limon, Colo.) — will soon be hitting the books in a new pre-school through grade 12 building that features some of the latest engineering and architectural innovations, including a geothermal heat pump system that both the co-op and Tri-State will reward with some attractive monetary incentives through its Energy Efficiency Products program.
This unique building, now in its final construction phases in Simla, Colo., incorporates three separate academic wings — one each for the elementary grades, junior high and senior high — with a fourth wing housing athletics, the wood shop and the cafeteria.
It is regarded as a “high performance design” by the architects. The school’s floor plan has classrooms oriented along an east-west axis to capture maximum natural daylight and the building also incorporates good acoustical isolation between teaching spaces for a quieter learning environment.
“At the current electric rates that we are paying Mountain View Electric, we have roughly calculated a 10-year payback on the school’s heat pump system,” said Steve Wilson, Big Sandy School District superintendent.
“We have not completed all of the calculations for the qualifying rebates from Mountain View and Tri-State, but we are expecting that the heat pump system, LED lights and electric motors should add up to at least a $40,000 check to the school district,” said Ray Singmaster, rebate and electrician services supervisor for Mountain View Electric.
The new 83,000 square-foot Big Sandy School is scheduled for completion by mid-July — in time for the start of the new school year in August.
This project marks at least the fourth major geothermal installation in an academic building across Mountain View’s service territory. In 2009, Palmer Ridge High School, in Monument, received Energy Efficiency Products rebate checks from Mountain View and Tri-State totaling nearly $200,000.
In an effort to encourage school teachers to make energy a larger part of their students’ curriculum, Tri-State hosted a three-day program on the electric utility industry this week (June 25-27) for approximately 35 teachers working predominantly at schools within the association’s member service territory.
Several of the educators attending this second annual NEED (National Energy Education Development) summer conference were also from schools in New Mexico that are electrically served by El Paso Electric Co., which also helped to fund this year’s event.
Tri-State works with NEED to conduct the program and its member co-ops to encourage teachers from schools in their service territories to attend this program, which is funded by Tri-State and its participating member systems.
The format of the conference is intended to be both fun and educational with lots of lab experiments and problem-solving energy exercises.
“By educating our teachers on energy we hope this program will ultimately prompt more kids to learn about where their electricity comes from,” said Gigi Dennis, senior manager of public affairs and organizer of this event. “We are pleased to see that attendance is up from last year’s conference,” she added. Continue reading ‘Tri-State hosts teachers conference on energy’