Editor’s note: The following has been excerpted from a recently published column by Tri-State senior vice president/transmission Joel Bladow that will appear in the spring 2013 issue of Tri-State’s quarterly magazine, Network.
Tri-State crews and contractors are ramping up for another busy year of transmission maintenance and improvement activities aimed at providing continued efficient and reliable service to our member systems.
Ongoing system improvements are necessary to keep pace with demands on our system and are required to serve the growing loads of our member co-ops.
In 2013 and beyond, increased activity is anticipated in the ongoing asset transfer program that was established in 2010. This is a voluntary program which allows Tri-State’s member systems the option of selling all of their existing power delivery equipment that is 100 kilovolts or greater to Tri-State.
During the next several years, these transactions are expected to double the transformer inventory and add hundreds of miles of transmission and scores of circuit switchers, battery systems, substation control buildings and other equipment owned by our member co-ops.
Also in the pipeline, National Environmental Policy Act and local permitting activities are expected to be completed this year, which will enable construction in 2014 of the 65-mile, 230-kilovolt Burlington to Wray transmission line in eastern Colorado.
We also have begun the planning process to provide vital system upgrades to southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley. The proposed 118-mile, 230-kV San Luis to Carson Transmission Project, which would extend along a southerly route from the San Luis Valley Substation into northern New Mexico, presents an alternative solution to bolstering reliability in that region.
Tri-State is guided in all of these endeavors by the primary goal of improving the performance and efficiency of the entire system while safely and reliably delivering power to our member systems at the lowest possible cost.