Planned Outage to affect City of Durango/Florida Mesa at 1 a.m. May 26
    Repairs to Tri-State’s substation will force all circuits to be opened for safety

    To remove a damaged piece of equipment in its Bodo Industrial Park substation, Tri-State Generation and Transmission will de-energize the substation at 1 a.m., Friday, May 26 (overnight Thursday night), affecting 12,530 customers of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA). Tri-State is the primary wholesale power supplier to LPEA’s distribution system in La Plata and Archuleta counties.

    LPEA customers affected will include the entire City of Durango, as well as the Florida Mesa – specifically, all of Downtown, Fort Lewis College/Hillcrest area, north and east to the City Limits, and west to the Lightner Creek area. Barring discovery of any additional damage, LPEA members should be out of power for no longer than two hours.

    Eight of LPEA’s substations are fed by Tri-State’s Bodo substation. To avoid any damage to LPEA equipment and protect LPEA members, circuits on LPEA’s substations will all be opened at 1 a.m., cutting the power, after which Tri-State will de-energize its substation. Once the piece of equipment is removed, Tri-State will re-energize its portion of the substation and LPEA will begin the process of re-energizing its eight substations.

    “That’s where we need to take our time,” said Justin Talbot, LPEA manager of operations. “Think of it as opening a fire hose. We cannot instantly place that much load onto our system at one time, so we will do it methodically. As a result, power will be restored in steady succession. It’s all about being safe and not causing a surge onto our system that would severely damage the equipment.”

    Tri-State has been working over the past several months to upgrade its section of the Bodo substation, and discovered, and ultimately confirmed, that the insulating properties of a piece of equipment are breaking down, thus causing a safety concern. This repair procedure was deemed the safest and to have the least impact on LPEA customers.

    “We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our members,” said Talbot. “It’s a necessary measure to ensure that we don’t have greater impacts in the future. We appreciate everyone’s patience.”

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.