The Electric Distribution Department provides service through a network of six miles of 69 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission line, 37 miles of overhead distribution line and 74 miles of buried distribution lines which serve approximately 7,226 customers.
The Department continues to improve the reliability of our system for our customers by continuing to bury the overhead lines, provide wildlife protection on our equipment and trim trees around power and service lines yearly.
The Public Utilities Commission requires that all new subdivisions in the City be served with underground distribution, which increases reliability to the distribution system and in addition, bury selected existing overhead lines and to move all meters to exterior locations.
The Electric Production Department operates a power plant which is comprised of two generators, one each of:
- 6 megawatts (MW)
- 15 MW
All of the generators are "co-generation" units which means that steam is extracted from the turbine for use by the District Energy department for high and low pressure steam customers.
The Department also has two back pressure turbines that were installed in 2012. These are turbines that will convert the high pressure steam (400 pounds (lbs)) to district energy (either 140 lbs or 10 lbs) by driving a generator to make electricity which in effect will reduce the pressure of the steam to export to our District Energy customers. Otherwise the steam had been going through a pressure reducing valve and all the excess energy was lost.
Natural Gas & Combustion
The plant was designed to burn coal, natural gas, or a combination of both. Through permitting we are only using natural gas. The Department constantly monitors its cost to generation power versus the cost to purchase power to ensure it provides its customers with reliable service at the most economical cost while ensuring that its nitrous oxides (nox) stack emissions comply with applicable federal and state pollution standards.
In addition, two combustion turbines are maintained to be used during peak load periods or when purchased power is not available.