Transition leader named for power plant, mine retirements

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Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has announced that Rick Thompson will serve as transition team manager for the retirement of Nucla Station, New Horizon Mine and Craig Station Unit 1. Thompson will lead transition teams, support affected employees and local communities, and evaluate options for decommissioning the facilities.

“Selecting Rick as our transition manager is a meaningful step forward to fulfill our commitment to our employees and the communities affected by the retirements,” said Mike McInnes, Tri-State CEO. “Rick will report directly to me and be responsible for developing a transition plan and serving as a liaison between the employees, community and other stakeholders.”

“Throughout his career, Rick has shown effective leadership, organizational and project management skills, which will be an incredible asset to our employees, communities and the association,” said McInnes.

Thompson, who currently serves as Tri-State’s senior manager for transmission land rights and permitting, has more than 25 years of experience in the utility industry and a long and successful track record of managing projects.

“We have a great responsibility to those who have served Tri-State so well over many years,” said Thompson. “I’m eager to work with our employees and the communities to plan for the future.”

In the coming weeks, Thompson, who currently serves as Tri-State’s senior manager for transmission land rights and permitting, will transition into his new role and will begin meeting with employees and community leaders.

“Even though we have a long lead time before the retirements, there is much work to be done,” added Thompson.

Thompson is currently responsible for siting, conducting permitting activities, acquiring and managing land rights and conducting environmental compliance activities for electric transmission lines, substations and related utility facilities. Prior to joining Tri-State, Rick spent 20 years with Xcel Energy and its predecessor companies in varying capacities. Rick is a Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University.

In September, Tri-State and the other owners of Craig Station Unit 1 announced the generating unit will be retired by December 31, 2025, and that Nucla Station will be retired by December 31, 2022. New Horizon Mine, which supplies coal to Nucla Station, will also retire and will shift from production to reclamation efforts in the near future.

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