Storm response highlights collaboration
MAY 24, 2019
Moving power across the vast reaches, challenging terrain and harsh conditions of Tri-State’s area is no small task. Our member systems serve communities across nearly 200,000 square miles, which is an area about 20 percent larger than the State of California. Tri-State owns or operates more than 5,600 miles of high-voltage transmission line and hundreds of substations and telecommunications facilities that connect our members.
The heart and soul of delivering reliable power over our transmission system are the people who plan, operate and maintain this complex machine. They are pros. They are smart, safe and efficient, and they work together to keep the lights on. When the weather is at its worst, they are at their best.
In mid-March, the bomb cyclone spring storm impacted our transmission system and our members’ distribution systems across four states. Our team was prepared and engaged before, during and after the storm to maintain the reliability of our electric service.
While facilities across our system were impacted by this large weather event, the most extensive damage to our system was in eastern Colorado, where winds reached 97 miles per hour. In many areas, line patrols were completed by our UTVs (utility task vehicles) with tracks after the storm had passed, as trucks could not access many areas.
Our Lincoln – Midway 230,000-volt line, which spans from south of Colorado Springs to southwest of Limon, had a total of 12 large “H-frame” structures down and 2 more damaged beyond repair. Our transmission operations team was able to route power on other transmission lines so that we could reliably serve our members as transmission maintenance crews began work to safely repair this section of line.
This short video demonstrates the impacts of the storm and our work to quickly get the system up and running, and it’s representative of the hard work our team does across all the areas we serve.