Repowering Project Offline for Additional Testing

Lamar Light Plant Superintendent Rick Rigel informed the Lamar Utilities Board the coal plant may be offline until March of next year.  Rigel said the plant, which went offline on November 12 after various systems testing had been concluded.  Additional comprehensive testing has been planned by the manufacturer Babcock and Wilcox and Rigel said the light plant will run its own analysis of test results which will be compared to those of Babcock and Wilcox. 

Light plant crews are currently removing all the bed material, ash and coal dust from the bag houses and silos to enact a complete inspection of all the structures.  Plant operators will review the recommendations made by the boiler manufacturer for additional modifications.  Rigel said he believes the reviews won’t begin until the first of the year.  Because of the timeline involved, Rigel said the plant will sub-lease the coal train to BNSF until the end of March, and has arranged with Western Fuels, the coal supplier, to sell the coal remaining on the contract for 2011.  Rigel said the in-depth inspections will allow for a base line of operating conditions on other wear areas within the boiler to serve as a gauge for future inspections. 

The superintendent said wind production is down for the plant’s three turbines, mostly attributable to repair work that had to be done to various turbines through the year.  Wind production through October dropped 11% compared to 2010.  The high performing ARPA turbine in Springfield is starting to experience the same generator brush problem as had one of the Lamar turbines.  Similar repairs on the Springfield turbine will begin shortly. 

The Utility Board went into two executive sessions, one involving a personnel matter, the other was to receive legal advice regarding potential litigation.  The final Utility Board meeting of the year is set for Tuesday, December 13 at Noon.

By Russ Baldwin


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