Light Plant Details July Power Outages, ARPA Talks with Tri-State G & T Continue


The Lamar Utility Board approved recent purchase orders totaling $1,079,088.07 and payment of bills amounting to $243,041.72.

The System Operating Report, delivered by Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh noted the sales of electricity through June 2018 were up approximately 3.6% when compared to the same time last year. Residential sales were up 5.04%, irrigation sales were up approximately 35.92% and commercial/industrial sales were up a slim 0.13%. Revenue was up 5.76% for this time period.

Several widespread power outages occurred at 8:05pm on Sunday, July 29th due to a severe thunderstorm that moved through the service area.  Most of the damages occurred on the east end of the 24.9kv circuit where high winds broke off five power poles along highway 196 and CR 22.5.  Crews were able to isolate the area and back fed Bristol and Hartman for power from Holly and from the west, the circuit fed by Lamar.  Power was back to normal by about 6:30 the following morning. The storm also damaged three transformer banks and a power pole at Rd 35 and TT.  The insurance claims are being submitted to CIRSA.

The annual crane inspection has been completed throughout the facilities including the five wind turbines and a detailed inspection will be provided by KoneCrane to the light plant.

After some discussion by the board, September 11th was selected for a meeting with Prowers Economic Prosperity board members, but not as an executive session as had been suggested.  A recent PEP communication to the LUB noted members wanted to discuss some opportunities and challenges that exist for economic development related to utilities.

Hourieh and LUB attorney Don Steerman noted that Power Purchase Agreement negotiations are still underway between ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority and Tri-State Generation over the sale of ARPA holdings, including the Lamar Repowering Project bonds to the power provider. All six municipal members need to agree on the PPA for the bond sale and to date, La Junta has had issues over renewable power generation limitations.  Discussions over the long term WAPA allocations, Western Area Power Association contracts, have also drawn out the negotiation process.

The next Lamar Utilities Board meeting is set for Tuesday, August 28th.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of HollyCity of LamarFeaturedPublic SafetyUtilitiesWeather


About the Author: