Repowering Project Restart Pushed Back to July

Additional work on the project’s air compression piping system has pushed back the online operation date from June to July, according Rick Rigel, Lamar Light and Power Plant Superintendent. Rigel told the utilities board, about half the insurance claim for the outage has been approved. The remainder is for the expense for removing and stock piling the plant’s coal from the two storage domes and man hours for light plant staff for coal moving and tube repairs. There’s enough coal on the ground at the plant site for about 10 days operation. Rigel said the coal should be fine to use for initial testing of the boiler once all the repairs have been made, but additional coal shipments will be needed for continued plant operation. Usually, the plant needs a new shipment of coal every 21 to 23 days.

A replacement mainshaft is needed for the Light and Power T-2 turbine located east of Lamar. This spring, LLP Superintendent Rick Rigel briefed board members that the main bearing was failing. The costs of replacements for the shaft and main bearing was bid out, and awarded to low bidder RENEW Energy Maintenance for $170,100. The gearbox will be brought down off the turbine tower to ground level while the three-day project is completed. The board established a contingency fund for repairs of this nature. The plant will also get a core credit of between $22,000 and $33,000 for the old mainshaft, depending on its condition. Rigel told the board he’s contacting the company to get some estimates of what downtime for the crew and crane would cost if they cannot operate during windy conditions. Year to date power production from the turbines is running 5% above last year. Despite the windy spring, Rigel said records show wind turbine production for April and May is down by 8% compared to last year at this time.

Rigel briefed board members on the recent ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority meeting held May 26. ARPA intends to reduce power consumption through the communities it serves by converting street lights from a sodium bulb to a lower power LED light source. The proposal will need approval from the PUC. ARPA finances show an 11% revenue increase since 2009, but cost of purchased power, transmission and wheeling costs increased by $2.9 million. Net Operating revenues were $9.8 million, determined by the 2010 audit. Some additional savings were realized with two staff reductions, an assistant general manager and an energy support services employee.

The city utility revenue report shows sales of electricity grew by 5.17% from May 2010 to 2011, for a gain of $47,568.19. May trash collections are up over last year, 8.41%; water use is up 16.26% for the same period and sewer fees are up 1.07%. Year-to-date utilities show an 11.52% increase over last year in electricity; 7.69% for trash collections and 4.09% for water usage. Sewer fees are down for that period, 2.49%.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: EconomyEnergyFeaturedLamarUtilities


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