ARPA, LUB Reps Traveling to Boiler Manufacturer

Rick Rigel, ARPA General Manager, Virgil Cochran, Lamar Light Plant Compliance Officer and several local consultants are visiting the boiler manufacturer, Babcock & Wilcox  at their company headquarters in Barberton, Ohio the week of March 19, to review the modifications being made to their boiler at the Lamar Repowering Project. 

Rigel discussed the need for the trip as he briefed the Holly Town Trustees during their monthly meeting, March 7.  He recapped the continued attempts to produce enough power from the boiler while keeping the emissions within the guidelines mandated by the plant’s air quality permit.  Rigel related the on-site modifications made to the boiler over the past 18 months in an attempt to move from preliminary tests to the compliance tests needed for a start up and permanent operational status.  He said if the light plant consultants sign off on the changes, new compliance tests should begin in late summer or early fall of this year. 

He also informed the Trustees, “We may not, for economic reasons, continue to operate the plant.”  Rigel has stated several times now, to the Lamar City Council and to the Lamar Utilities Board, that the cost of market purchased power is currently extremely soft.  The plant has been offline since last December.  Three months ago, the LUB signed a three year contract with Tri State G & T to provide services for ARPA members such as the purchase and sale of electricity and market power purchasing.  The three year contract can be renewed.  He added right now, that purchased power costs are coming in at under three cents per kilowatt hour.  Rigel added that ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority, will opt for the most economic way to supply electricity to its customers, by purchase or local generation.  He added that when the light plant is operating in compliance with air quality standards, that will give the company an ace in the hole, bringing it on line when purchased power costs exceed the cost to generate power locally.  For this reason, Rigel said the plant needs to maintain a core staff, which would be able to keep it fully operational.  Rigel said additional information on the Repowering Project status should be available during ARPA’s annual meeting, set for April 26 at Otero Junior College in La Junta.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityEconomyEmploymentEnergyHollyLamarUtilities


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