Lamar Repowering Project Delays Resumption of Online Operation

Coal-fired operations at Lamar Light and Power may be pushed back until June, according to light plant superintendent, Rick Rigel.  Two areas need to be addressed, boiler operation and efficiency within the limits of the air quality permit for emissions.  Rigel said the furnace’s air supply systems need improvement to provide sufficient ‘overfire air’ for the operation, which will involve additional ducting and ports for air venting.  Repairs on the ruptured boiler tubes have to be checked, involving 15 separate welds, and they will have to pass a heat stress x-ray inspection before they are brought online.  Several repairs can be completed in the next several weeks, but Rigel felt a date in June was more realistic.

Utility Board members discussed whether to enact an ECA, electric cost adjustment or take no action and allow a proposed 2.5% rate increase to go into effect for all customer classes on June 1.   The cost of purchased power is increasing, and ARPA is passing along some of those increases to Lamar Light and Power.  Rigel said this was anticipated, but not to include the level of the ECA to date.  The ECA will bring in $707,130 in revenue, slightly more than would be billed out to customers under the 2.5% increase, with one or two exceptions.  The board postponed any decision until at least a month from now, once they had a better indication on current finances.  The board discussed implementing the ECA for several months, instead of a full year, to determine the impact on revenues.

Earlier on March 29, the board issued a press release explaining their opposition to the initial WildEarth Guardian lawsuit filed against ARPA, the light plant and LUB, and a second lawsuit which was posted in the courts on March 24.  Rigel and other board members said they were aware of the lawsuit, but had not been officially served with notice as of today, March 29.  WildEarth Guardians claim the Repowering Project has been in violation of federal clean air standards since it went online.

Filed Under: BusinessEnergyLamarUtilities


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