LUB Reviews Avian Protection Plan, Updates Power Loss on Bent Fire

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The Lamar Light Plant conducted electrical maintenance testing on its two main 69KV transformers and load tap changers, a process that is recommended for every three years. Once the transformers were de-energized crews performed tests including insulation resistance, insulation power factor tests and several others as well as adding oil to needed equipment to bring it to the normal performance level.  All tests were in acceptable levels.

Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh and board members reviewed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Avian Protection Plan Policy he recently developed for the plant’s service area. The report is mandated by the USFWS and states that Light Plant crews have been proactive in raptor protection by using crossarm perching deterrents, 10 foot crossarms and covering phase wires.  His report states that since 2012 the plant has spent $37,000 on raptor protection.  The report states that with over 408 circuit miles of overhead powerlines in our service area, it’s neither economically prudent nor biologically necessary to consider targeting all areas for remedial action.  LUB will continue to address the issue of avian mortality with an approach that takes into account engineering design assessments, date keeping and practical experience.  This is a living document that may be periodically revised based on new information or new developments in avian protection.

Hourieh said there was some damage to cross arms due to the heat from the recent fire in Bent County. “When the fire went through the southwest corner of Las Animas, the heat melted three of the crossarms.”  He noted this was not far from the same area ten years ago which produced a much more destructive fire in low-lying and hard to reach areas of the riverbed.  Because of the terrain, repair crews will have to go on foot to the damaged area.  “The arms only cost about $200 apiece, but it’s the cost of labor that will be expensive,” he explained.  There was some loss of service due to the fire and the Fort Lyon area was using diesel generators for their electric power.  He hoped that by the end of the week, the 69KV line that serves Las Animas between Fort Lyon will be repaired.

By Russ Baldwin



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