Lamar Utility Board/ARPA Close Another Segment of Lamar Repowering Project

Repowering Project Coal Domes



The Lamar Utility Board met Tuesday, September 14th and discussed a provision of the settlement agreement from February 2016 between Arkansas River Power Authority, the City of Lamar and the Lamar Utility Board. Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh explained that ARPA has furnished a Corporate Surety Bond for $2M which named LUB as the owner of the Bond. The Bond was to secure performance on ARPA’s obligations to restore the light plant’s dedicated property following the removal of the Lamar Repowering Projects facilities located on the premises. The work was completed with no default, therefore ARPA requests that LUB as owner of the bond, release it. The board approved the release of the bond.

Board members reviewed a total of $1,127,521.05 in purchase orders of which $1,106,870.23 required approval. Of this, $1,045,521.96 was for Arkansas River Power Authority for the July estimate for purchased power, the second time this year, their bill went over $1M. Payment of bills for the month was $205,453.65.

Superintendent Hourieh noted that sales of electricity through August 2021 were down approximately 2.74% when compared to the same period in 2020. Residential sales were down approximately 1.84%, irrigation is down approximately 30.16% and commercial /industrial sales are up approximately 0.27%. The plant’s line crew performed a number of installations over the past month including an underground cable which feeds the Lamar school’s central kitchen and Administration building, PVC conduits at Escondido Park to power a press box and score bord and crews replaced wooden power poles on Highway 196 between CR 12 and 13 as well as general line maintenance and tree trimming.

Board member, Jay Brooke, opened the work session on various strategic planning issues for the future noting the potential growth of solar and wind power and the general move in the state to attain decreased carbon footprints for power producing companies. Brooke suggested some future sessions during which board members could discuss options to address the future impact these changes may have for Lamar Light and Power.

Hourieh noted that the development of solar energy for future customers will be limited by growth. At this point, the board is regulated and held to 5,000 customers before net metering becomes a financial factor. Hourieh replied that the current customer base of 4,200 and given the history of new customers, a growth of 800 new customers is a way off. He also recapped that the board’s power agreement for ARPA as the energy source continues until 2043 before the LRP construction bonds will end. Members were in agreement that sessions of this nature be informative.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedUtilitiesWater


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