Update on Trico Electric Cooperative’s Facilities Damaged by the Bighorn Fire and Notice of Planned Outage
July 31, 2020
Trico has been working to repair its power line that runs up the West slope of Mt. Lemmon (West Line) which was damaged by the Bighorn Fire. This line is used to provide power to Mt. Lemmon. Trico has been serving Members on Mt. Lemmon using our backup generator located near the Mt. Lemmon Fire Department. The repairs to the West Line are anticipated to be completed this weekend, reconnecting the normal source of power to Mt. Lemmon.
There will be a brief outage of approximately one hour, while power is transferred from the backup generator to the repaired line. To help our Members plan for this brief outage, Trico has set two possible windows for the planned outage. Weather and system permitting, Trico plans to transfer from the generator to the repaired line between 8 am and 9 am on Saturday, August 1. In the event we are unable to make the transition during this time, we plan to complete the work on Sunday, August 2 between 8 am and 9 am. Members should expect an outage to occur during one of these windows.
Repair work will continue on the line that runs down the East slope of Mt. Lemmon (East Line). That work will not impact service to Summerhaven or the rest of the Mount Lemmon community. We anticipate that, weather permitting, the work on the East Line will take approximately two to three more weeks to complete based on the visible damage to the line. Work will include the use of a helicopter to deliver poles and materials to the worksites. The Forest is closed, so please stay out of the area, and please do not fly drones in the area because it can interfere with the helicopter performing work.
We understand that this has been a very stressful time for all of you, and we appreciate your patience and support as we work to repair our facilities damaged by the fire.
Please continue to look to Trico’s website (www.trico.coop) and its social media accounts for updates. If you experience any issues or have any questions, please contact Trico Dispatch at 520-744-2944.
In his Manager’s Report, Trico CEO and General Manager Vin Nitido highlighted some of Trico’s accomplishments in 2019, including completion of our Automated Metering Infrastructure upgrade, which will help us to provide better outage location and response and enable our Members to better manage their energy use.
On the renewable energy side, Mr. Nitido said Trico’s rooftop solar program continues to be very popular. We are still receiving 40 or more solar interconnection applications each month. Almost 3,000 of our Members have rooftop solar now. Overall, about 14 percent of Trico’s energy is from solar resources, and another 5 percent is from hydropower.
In 2020, Trico will be working on our Chirreon Solar Facility, which is 10MW of solar with 15MW of battery storage located in Pinal County near SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch. That facility will provide enough to power 3,000 average homes. Trico plans for it to go into full service in 2021.
Mr. Nitido explained that the Board has adopted the COVID-19 Assistance Program to provide bill credits and payment extensions to Members negatively affected by the emergency. Under that program, qualifying Members, including small businesses, can apply for bill assistance through a quick screening process that can be found here.
Reports regarding Trico’s performance in the prior year were also provided by Trico’s Board President and Board Treasurer. There was not a quorum of Members to vote on matters raised during the meeting. As a result, the procedural votes taken by the Board during the meeting will be presented to the Members for ratification at the next Annual Meeting.
Voting for Trico Board of Director positions in Districts 3 and 6 was conducted by electronic ballot, mail-in ballot and absentee ballot. A total of 265 votes were received, which constituted a quorum for purposes of the election. In District 3, Nick Buckelew ran unopposed and was reelected. There were two candidates in District 6: Larry Hinchliffe and Lorena Leal. Mr. Hinchliffe was reelected with 67 percent of the votes.
Every Member who voted was entered in a raffle for prizes, including bill credits and a 2005 Chevrolet K1500 truck. Trico used a random number generator to select the raffle winners. Congratulations to David Huerta, the grand prize winner of the truck.
“I never win anything,” Mr. Huerta said. “It will be a great truck for weekend projects around the house.”