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Benton REA Shares 1st Place Communication Award for “The Energy Experience” – October 2016

The Energy Experience Logo

The Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) awarded a group of Tri-City utilities and partnering organizations with the association’s 2016 1st Place Excellence in Communications Award for the Energy Experience event that was held at the Richland, Washington REACH Museum in 2015. The first place Wild Card Excellence in Communications Award was a joint submittal on behalf of Franklin PUD, Benton PUD, Richland Energy Services, Benton REA, Energy Northwest and the Bonneville Power Administration.
The Energy Experience was the culmination of a group of Tri-City utility employees whose vision was to have a Mid-Columbia regional educational event targeting middle school students to create awareness and transfer knowledge about energy generation, production, safety, efficiency, conservation and public power. There was a committed planning team, which expanded the event to include partners beyond public power to provide comprehensive education about the energy industry. Partners included Franklin PUD; Benton PUD; Benton REA; Energy Northwest; Richland Energy Services; the Bonneville Power Administration; Benton Conservation District; Cascade Natural Gas; Columbia Basin College; the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative (MCEI) through TRIDEC; Ben Franklin Transit; the REACH Museum; and Washington Green Schools.
Approximately 50 partner employees participated during the day of the event and numerous others worked on pre-event activities. The team selected 7th and 8th graders since middle school is a critical time to teach students about energy, fulfill core education standards, and help them understand environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, and conservation and the role these can play in determining our energy future. The day was comprised of key themes of energy and energy production in the areas of hydropower, wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, conservation and options for college and careers in energy and environmental science.
Over 600 students, teachers and adult leaders attended the event in October 2015 as part of the national Public Power Week celebration.
The team will bring back the event in 2017 for students in the greater Tri-City area.

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Kids Enjoy Energy Experience – Oct. 6, 2015

20151006_092124The first ever Energy Expo was hosted at the Reach Museum in Richland on October 6, 2015. The event was hosted by many local utilities including: Benton REA, Benton PUD, Franklin PUD, Richland Energy Services, Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Northwest and Cascade Natural Gas.

Each utility provided a booth that highlighted different kinds of energy conservation or generation technologies. Benton REA focused on lighting technology, using a display to explain the history and evolution of lighting.

The event was attended by more than 600 seventh and eighth grade students.
Benton REA provided the students with a solar grasshopper which was the hit of the event.

The students also toured the Reach Museum and learned about the history of our area including great displays of the hydroelectric dam projects, Hanford Site, Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, Battelle & Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and several other displays.

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Benton REA Participates in Safe Kids Saturday – May 9, 2015

Benton REA takes part in Safe Kids Saturday each year to help bring together kids and fun while teaching them important safety messages.

Benton REA uses its high voltage electrical safety demonstration board to allow kids and parents to visualize how electricity works and electrical safety hazards. He describes what can happen when a power line goes down and talks about the dangers of playing near or on a transformer and how to stay safe around electricity in general.

Held on the Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s campus, the annual family safety fair brings together more than 30 community agencies and 200 volunteers to share important safety messages for parents and children.  This year’s event was attended by more than 3,500 people.Ron and Tammy for webRon for web

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Ron Mitchell, Beneton REA Electrical Advisor, and his wife Tammy, man the Benton REA tent at the Safe Kids Saturday held May 9 in Richland.  Right: Ron Mitchell illustrates electrical safety hazards around power lines and transformers with kids and parents at Safe Kids Saturday event.

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Benton REA Participates in West Richland Enterprise Middle School Career Night

Kirk Henderson - for webOn the evening of March 24, Kirk Henderson, Line Superintendent for Benton REA’s West Richland office talks with a student at the Career Night event about what linemen do for electric co-ops and the education and training needed to become a lineman.

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Benton REA Teaches 1,000 5th Graders About Electric Safety at 2015 Annual Farm FairFarm Fair 4 - for web

Ron Mitchell, Electric Advisor for Benton REA talks to students about electric safety at the Farm Fair held March 24-25,  at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Using his high voltage safety demo board, Mitchell emphasized to students the importance staying clear of any downed power lines and to avoid playing on or near  transformer stations.

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Benton REA Takes Part in STEM Night at Enterprise Middle School, West Richland

DSC_0047Benton REA, along with more than 300 parents and students, participated in Enterprise Middle School’s STEM Night in West Richland on January 13. The event focused on activities for students and adults in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math–or STEM.

Benton REA became involved in 2014 when Enterprise teacher Jenene Bush invited Ron Mitchell, Benton REA’s Electrical Advisor, to participate in the inaugural event.

Mitchell was already familiar with the school and some students from being involved in presenting high voltage safety demonstrations, so taking part in the STEM Night seemed like a great way to further educate kids about electricity and safety.

“It’s always fun to see the kids’ faces light up when they learn something new. I really enjoy interacting with the kids each year,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell brought Benton REA’s safety demonstration board and provided students and parents with handouts about downed power line safety and the 811 Call Before You Dig program.DSC_0083

A favorite activity for both kids and adults was Benton REA’s LED hands-on display that compares the wattages used on each type of lamp technology (LED, CFL and incandescent).

Students enjoyed turning switches on and off to see the different lamp type wattages on the digital display. Schools interested in having a Benton REA demonstration on High Voltage Safety can call Ron Mitchell at (509) 786-8265.

Photos:  Pictured above, Ron Mitchell, Benton REA’s Electrical Advisor, talks to students explaining how electricity works on the safety board.  Below right, Mitchell talks to a student and her father about the differences in wattages for the different kinds of lamp technology on the market. 

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Honoring All Who Have Served at Veterans Day Parades

Benton REA Trustees, employees and family honor Veterans at the West Richland parade.

Benton REA Trustees, employees and family honor Veterans at the West Richland parade.

Benton REA had an entry in both the West Richland and Prosser Veterans Day Parades. Benton REA has a long history of honoring our Veterans, participating in every West Richland parade since it began in 2000.

In fact, a Benton REA employee has been a chair of the parade committee every year since Bruce Etzel (now retired from Benton REA) came up with the concept and chaired the very first parade committee.

 

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Benton REA at the West Richland Harvest Festival

Troy Berglund and other Benton REA employees have fun conducting the kids games.

Fun & games for the kids, Troy Berglund and other Benton REA employees.

 

Benton REA was a sponsor of the 2013 Harvest Festival in West Richland at Flat Top Park. Benton REA conducted the kid’s games and had a Benton REA truck at the event.

 

 

 

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Benton REA Major Sponsor of West Richland National Night Out

Ann Roth & Derek Miller help kids select prizes.

Ann Roth & Derek Miller help kids select prizes.

Benton REA conducted the kid’s games at West Richland’s inaugural National Night Out event on August 6th at Flat Top Park. Hundreds of kids played various games and earn tickets towards prizes. Benton REA was a major sponsor for the event, which was put on by the West Richland Police Department. The focus of much of the event was public safety, and keeping in that theme Benton REA also had its electricity safety demonstration on display and discussed electricity safety with both kids and adults.

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Benton REA Celebrates with SSC North America

SSC groundbreaking aBenton REA is one of many entities that partnered with SSC North America and the City of West Richland to help keep this world class manufacturing facility in West Richland. SSC North America built the world’s fastest production car and will provide up to 50 manufacturing jobs to our local area. It is also expected to be a significant tourist attraction as it will include a showroom and a museum. Benton REA representatives were recognized for its support at the ceremony and is proud to help enhance our local economy and quality of life.

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Team Benton REA Walks at Relay for Life Event.

Laura Rivera and her family were among the many employees and family members who walked at the event.

 

Employees donned their Team Benton REA shirts and took to the track at Grandview High School to join in the fight against cancer at the annual Relay for Life event on May 18th and 19th. Benton REA was the Platinum sponsor for the event this year, as the event raised more than $70,000.

 

 

 

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Benton REA Members Learn About Small Solar & Wind Projects

Ron Mitchell shows how the solar project connects to the electric system.

Ron Mitchell shows how the solar project connects to the electric system.

While about 90% of Benton REA’s electricity comes from clean, renewable hydroelectricity, many Benton REA members want a more hands on participation in renewable energy and have expressed interest in residential projects such as solar and wind. To help our members get all the information they need about residential renewable energy projects, Benton REA offers a FREE Renewable Energy class, which it held on April 11th. Nearly 50 Benton REA members attended the class, which included information about various solar and wind projects, rules for Net Metering or connecting the renewable project into the Benton REA distribution system, qualifying for incentives, and costs analysis of the projects. Members even had a chance check out the Benton REA demonstration project to see first hand how the projects are installed and connected to the distribution system.

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Benton REA Teaches Kids to Stay Safe

Eric farm fair web

Eric Miller and Ron Mitchell of Benton REA spoke with nearly 1,000 kids about electricity safety at the Farm Fair held at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick on March 27th and 28th.

The Benton REA safety demonstrations have been a favorite for many kids as they learn how to stay safe around electricity in a fun and exciting atmosphere. The safety demonstration is also used for adults, as businesses have incorporating this demonstration into their workers safety meetings. If you are interested in having an electric safety demonstration for you classroom or group, e-mail Ron Mitchell or call (509) 786-2913, toll free at (800) 221-6987.

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