Lamar Light & Power Continues to Restart Repowering Project

Photos Courtesy of Lamar Light and Power – Click on a picture to see a larger image.

Additional equipment tuning and modifications are needed to get the Repowering Project back online. The plant has been offline since a December power outage, and engineering firms have been working to prevent future, similar problems. It has not been easy, according to Light Plant Superintendent, Rick Rigel. He informed the Utility Board some tests were run last week, but a by-pass valve has not performed up to expectations. The original valve was not suited for proper performance and a new one was designed. Lamar Light Plant Superintendent Rick Rigel said the factory calibrations need to be reworked along with valve controls. These problems caused the pressure relief valve to trip several times in past weeks which releases a lot of steam and creates a lot of noise. Rigel said he feels the problem has been addressed and will take several days to correct. He informed the Utility Board there will be some delays correcting the computer system that controls this valve.

Discussion on a rent to lease contract with a 135 foot tall man-lift unit was tabled by the board, pending additional information on costs. Rigel said he has not had a response from the company, Cat Rental, and does not want to move ahead without all the facts before the board. The contract the board is considering has a $150,000 purchase price of which prior rent of $85,500 will be applied to the final cost. Several pieces of equipment on the unit would be replaced at no charge and a safety training course for local operators will be provided.

The board approved a $56,231.25 payment to the city general fund which will be contributed to the Self Insurance Fund for employee health coverage. The light plant is contributing local information pertaining to two Xcel power outages on July 13. The first outage lasted thirty minutes and began at Noon. The second outage started in Lamar at 5:30pm and lasted until 9pm. The second outage was widespread, extending from Canon City to the Kansas border and from Pueblo to the New Mexico border. The Colorado Public Service Company is conducting an analysis of the event and various power companies are providing information on how they were impacted.

RENEW Energy replaced the main shaft bearing on the light plant’s T-2 wind turbine. The work included erecting a crane as tall as the turbine to bring the bearing to the ground for repairs. Wind production from the turbines showed a 6% increase in megawatt hours over the same time last year, with a production capacity averaging 35.69%. The ARPA turbine in Springfield continues to outperform the Lamar turbines averaging 48.82% capacity.

The board moved into executive session to discuss: Potential Violation of Service Territory and an update on current litigation with the WildEarth Guardian lawsuit.


By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityEconomyEnergyFeaturedUtilities


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