LUB Ponders Cost of Replacement Transformer

Lamar Light and Power Offices


Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, noted plant crews replaced the T-3 wind turbine’s main bearings and collector ring as well as the installation of five, man-lifts on all five wind turbines.  He said the devices will help improve efficiency and reduce stress on the wind turbine crew during the August 9th Utility Board meeting.

“This will save time and energy for crews ascending to the top of the 260 foot turbine,” he explained, adding that the lift takes about four minutes to bring a crew member to the top, compared to having them climb a latter one-at-a-time for about 20 minutes, going through four levels while carrying all their necessary equipment or hauling up the heavier pieces on a winch.  The crewman is attached to a safety latch and strap during the trip.  Weather also plays a factor as the turbine shafts are hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  The Superintendent added that sometimes a late day call would be carried over to the next day due to the time and logistics needed to move men and material to the top.  Now, most calls can be taken care of in the same day.

The line crew is currently installing 450 feet of phase three underground, 25kv line that will power a 1000 kva padmount transformer to Brannan Gravel Operation east of Lamar.  The crew also replaced an H structure on the 69kv line that was damaged by high wind at CRJJ and CR30 in Bent County.  General line service and tree trimming is also underway.

The utility board approved $946,353.61 in recent purchases including $892,459.69 for the July estimate from ARPA for electricity for July.  This was from a total of $963,850.73 in purchases including $20,263 for LED lights.  The board approved $178,458.38 in general bills and approved $23,828 from a bid from Wesco Denver for stock inventory, wire items.

There was lengthier discussion over whether to repair a damaged transformer or purchase a new one, depending on the size, delivery time and power output for future needs.  Hourieh said he’s contacted one company which estimated a cost of from $130,000 to $180,000 to rewire the damaged one, which was put into use by the Light Plant by around 1990.  “Rewiring would take about 50-52 weeks, almost the same time to have a new one delivered, but those prices can range between $200,000 to $390,000 depending on the size, either a 5 or 10 mva,” he explained.  The unit that’s been taken off line, if repaired, would have a one-year warranty while a new one would come with coverage for five years. At present, the plant is operating without a spare unit.  Hourieh said he’ll price out options which the board will review in subsequent meetings.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedUtilities


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