Challenging work and aggressive deadlines are no match for the men and women of the IBEW.

In this edition of IBEW Hour Power, we head to Craig, Colorado to watch the IBEW turnaround a 428 megawatt, coal-fired, steam electric generating unit!

This project was no small feat, but the IBEW was the right team for the job. Not only because we are the most highly trained and skilled electricians in the industry. It is pride in working safely, pride in doing the job right the first time, pride in earning a fair wage for a hard days work. Pride is what sets the IBEW apart from the rest.

 

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Craig Power Plant Turnaround

We all know that routine maintenance is a necessity but we all get a little frustrated with the time that it takes. Even if it is just 15 minutes to get an oil change. So imagine what it takes when the maintenance is on a 428 megawatt, coal-fired, steam electric generating unit!

Let’s head to Craig, Colorado and see what the men and women of the IBEW are doing to keep the electricity flowing.

In the Yampa River Valley on the Western Slope of Colorado sits the city of Craig. The lifeblood of this picturesque mountain town is Craig Station; the 1264 megawatts coal-fired power plant.

To keep it compliant with ever changing environmental regulations requires maintenance on the Craig Station’s three-generation units.

When it came time to service Craig Station’s generation unit #2, Tri-State Generation and Transmission turned to the IBEW to do the work.

Mark Darby: Generation Project Manager, Tri-State Generation and Transmission

“This is very important project. It’s you know, it’s EPA clean air implementation. We have to be online and meet requirements that the state has put forward to us by January of ’18.”

James Milligan: Business Manager, IBEW Local 969

“They’re gonna be replacing any parts that need to be replaced, re-redoing all of the DCHS from Honeywell to Emerson, so all those guys are changing out all those breakers and panels, and the re-feeding all the wires. And then they’re also doing a bunch of work with the turbine.”

Challenging work and aggressive deadlines isn’t anything new to the skilled members of the IBEW.

James Milligan: Business Manager, IBEW Local 969

“The whole shutdown is only about three weeks long, the timeframe, you know, so it took almost a year’s worth of time working on this project just to get up to this point. We’ve got guys from all over the place, out of New Mexico, Idaho. They’re working both days and nights to get the project done. 75% of the work had to be done within the first 12 days.”

No matter how aggressive the timeframe, safety is something that will never be compromised.

Mark Darby: Generation Project Manager, Tri-State Generation and Transmission

“The challenge of any construction job is to–first and most important is safety.”

Colton Radcliff: IBEW 5th Year Apprentice

“This is a very dangerous place to work in. There’s a lot of stuff running that you don’t wanna be around. There’s hot steam lines, loud noises, uh very dangerous environment, so safety is of the utmost importance here.”

Robin Reppard: IBEW Journeyman

“It’s making sure your head is on a swivel all day, every day. You’re taking the extra time to pay attention to what’s going on in front of you, around you, behind you.”

Colton Radcliff: IBEW 5th Year Apprentice

“20/20/20 — every 20 minutes take 20 seconds and look 20 feet around you.”

It is pride, pride in working safely, pride in doing the job right the first time, pride in earning a fair wage for a hard days work. Pride is what sets us apart.

Darin Boggs: General Foreman – Turbine Upgrades, P1 Group

“Everybody has a skill that, you know, they’re not scared to get in and pull cable. They’re not scared to get in and run conduit. Everybody is doing a great job.”

Dusty von Ehrenkrook : IBEW Journeyman

“Everywhere you look. Our pipe runs are all square. Our terminations are all correct the first time.”

Colton Radcliff: IBEW 5th Year Apprentice

“My father worked on it. My cousin’s father is on it. Many brothers I know have built this place, I’m proud to come here and keep it maintained and keep it generating good, clean coal power.”

Shamron Willison: IBEW 5th Year Apprentice

“I can go home and tell my mom about everything. She goes okay, what does that have to do with us? I’m like well, you’re getting power from here, so I’m the one who’s helping to bring that here. So I guess I just get way too excited about that.”

Thanks to the men and women of the IBEW, Unit 2 of Craig Station is back online and back to providing power to millions.

I’m Matthew Walton reporting for IBEWHourPower.com.

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Matthew Walton

Matthew Walton is the host of IBEW Hour Power and has been with the program since its beginnings in 2007. As an IBEW Hour Power host and producer, Matthew travels across the United States and Canada visiting job sites, training centers, and union halls to tell the stories of the IBEW brothers and sisters that work so hard every day.

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