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Tri-State Planning Ignacio – Dayton Power Line

12 September 2009 870 views No Comment

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has scheduled public meetings in Ignacio and Farmington next month to explain the rationale for installing a 230-kilovolt transmission line between the two towns.
The line, for which a corridor has not yet been chosen, is needed to support growth in the region as well as the work of the gas and oil industry, Tri-State public affairs manager Brad Jones said during an interview last week at The Durango Herald. Tri-State’s existing generating capacity will supply the power.

A 115-kilovolt Tri-State line between Durango and Bayfield that has been operating since 1958 is being rebuilt. The renovation, required by the age of the line and the need to improve reliability and meet energy demand, will be completed by December.

Advanced technology allows the 115-kilovolt line to carry more power, negating the need to replace it with a line of higher kilovoltage, said Ron Meier, the manager of engineering for La Plata Electric Association, one of 44 electric cooperatives that own Tri-State.

The Farmington-to-Ignacio line will link the existing Shiprock substation in Farmington to a future New Iron Horse substation in Ignacio, said Karli Nelson, strategic communications coordinator for Tri-State. The corridor will cross public, private and tribal land, she said.

“We plan for the long range,” Nelson said. “We estimate the new power line will serve the region for 20 to 30 years.”

When possible, such lines follow existing easements for highways or gas lines, Nelson said. Tri-State is consulting the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Tri-State will work with private landowners to acquire rights-of-way, she said.

Tri-State member cooperatives La Plata Electric Association (Durango), Empire Electric (Cortez), San Miguel Power Association (Nucla) and cooperatives in Chama and Espaċ¸½ola, New Mexico, also will benefit from the new power line, Nelson said.

After the public meetings in Ignacio and Farmington, work on route selection, environmental analysis and permit application will start and continue into next summer. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, with completion expected the next year.

daler@durangoherald.com

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