Welcome to the new version of Sparks!

Welcome to the new version of Sparks!

Jared Routh

Welcome to the new version of Sparks! We are excited to be able to deliver this directly to you while providing a more interactive experience to you, our member.   

Our goal with this newsletter is to keep you updated on what we are doing at High West Energy, but we also want to cater it to our members. With this new platform, we plan to include recipes, employee highlights, as well as important updates about your cooperative. Eventually, we would like to highlight members, their skills, and even their occupations, including local business. Along with this, we will also include historical information about the areas in our service territory.  

To make this more of an interactive experience, we would love to have members' input of what to include in this newsletter that will better suit your needs. We are always open to new ideas and eventually will offer incentives for members who provide ideas, recipes or feedback! For any inquiries about Sparks, please email sparks@highwest.coop

We are looking forward to what 2023 has to bring. To start the year off, our scholarship applications, including the line worker and general scholarships, are due February 2, 2023, or postmarked by January 26, 2023. Our scholarship program is open to graduating seniors who have at least one legal guardian who is a member of High West Energy. It’s not too late to apply, so head to our website, www.highwest.coop, to retrieve an application.  

Scholarship applications can be dropped off at either of our locations in Pine Bluffs (6270 CR 212) or Cheyenne (3302 I-80 Service Rd.). They can also be mailed to High West Energy Scholarships, PO Box 519, Pine Bluffs WY, 82082. We highly encourage students to fill out this scholarship application as it is a great benefit to being a member of High West Energy.  

Another opportunity for students this upcoming year is youth camp. The Nebraska Rural Electric Youth Energy Leadership Camp will be held at Camp Comeca in Cozad, Nebraska. Camp is held during the week of July 9th-13th and is free to students who are currently in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade. Students’ legal guardian must be a High West Energy member to qualify for camp as well. Applications can be found on our website and can be returned to our office locations or mailed to us by March 2023.  

Attending youth camp is an awesome opportunity to be considered to attend Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2024. This is a paid trip sponsored by High West Energy and is a great opportunity to learn about cooperatives, your state government, and meet students from all over the country.  

We look forward to the new year and are excited to see what comes our way. In the meantime, please stay updated through Sparks, our Facebook page and our website, www.highwest.coop. We appreciate our members and look forward to what the new year has to offer! 

History of High West Energy 

Since 1962, Sparks has been keeping members informed of their local cooperative and now, Sparks is coming directly to you! We hope that this change is beneficial and better informs you of what High West Energy is doing and what to look forward to. To start the new year out, let’s start with a quick glimpse into how High West Energy came to be.  

High West Energy has a long history, and we are proud to continue the growth of the cooperative. High West Energy began as the Rural Electric Company (REC) after community members in southeastern Wyoming, northeastern Colorado, and western Nebraska started discussing central station power and how that would positively impact local farmers. A temporary board was formed in 1936 where George Phillips, a local Pine Bluffs farmer, was appointed as the first manager to promote and organize the memberships. At the time, membership fees were only five dollars!  

In 1939, the Rural Electric Company received a loan for 162 miles of line and in May of 1940, the first lines were energized to 500 members and REC had invested $234,000. Phillips served as manager until 1946 and then B.E. Lyons was selected to oversee operations at REC.  

With the growth of the cooperative, military operations were also growing in the area. High West Energy is a proud supporter of the military, and it began in 1962 when a missile program was created, but REC found itself with more load than the lines could carry. REC then formed a building program to ensure the system could provide for 98 missile sites that were being built in its service territory.   

Lyons retired in 1976, but during his time, the company grew immensely by expanding the service territory to 2,675 miles of distribution line with 4,900 consumers including 700 irrigation wells. 

In July 1999, REC changed its name to High West Energy. Today, we serve 10,727 meters across a 4,228 square mile area in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. We cover Laramie and Albany counties in Wyoming, Weld and Logan counties in Colorado, and Cheyenne, Kimball, and Banner counties in Nebraska.  

As we continue to grow, it is always our mission to serve our members and communities by providing safe, reliable and competitively priced energy and services. We've got you covered from electricity to connectivity by offering energy, wiring and information technology.  

From 1936 to 2022, High West Energy continues to be grateful for our members and all that you provide for our communities. Our doors are always open, and we look forward to continuing to serve you!  

January Recipe

Brown Sugar Ham Steak 

  • 1 (8 ounce) bone-in fully cooked ham steak
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar

Cook ham steak in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove ham from skillet; drain off any fat. Melt butter in the same skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar. Return ham to skillet. Cook, turning ham often, until heated through and brown sugar has dissolved, for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat if brown sugar/butter mixture starts to pop or splatter.

To submit recipes, please email sparks@highwest.coop.

To view the full Sparks newsletter, please click the attachment below! Thank you for joining the journey of Sparks!