March 20, 2014
RE: Jetmore Power Supply Contract – Substation Work – Power Outage – April 13th
Dear Jetmore Citizen and Electric Utility Customer,
Beginning May 1st, the City of Jetmore will be switching power providers, moving away from Midwest Energy and beginning service with the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA). This became necessary after a competitive bid process revealed that the cost for the City of Jetmore would rise by over $240,000.00 per year with Midwest Energy. The City cannot sustain such an increase in costs, thus the City Council made the decision to begin a 5-year contract with the KMEA. Pricing from the KMEA is very attractive as a majority of the year’s sales in hourly electricity will come at fixed prices, thus shielding the city and its citizens from the drastic ups and downs of the open energy market. The City would like to express its deepest gratitude to Midwest Energy for its many years of helpful service and reliable power. It is the Council’s hope that when the time arises for a new competitive bid, Midwest will once again bid for consideration.
As of result of the changes, a number of factors must now be accounted for. The City must once again take up maintenance with its own substation (located immediately south of the Power Plant). First, the federal agency governing electric transmission (the Southwest Power Pool – SPP) requires that new meters be installed at the substation. Second, the City has discovered that the substation is in a state of disrepair and immediate replacements and maintenance must occur. A brief list includes a failing CCVT (coupling capacity voltage transformer) and an OCR (oil circuit recloser). Evidence of their failure is seen in the oil that is leaking out of both devices. When either of these items fail, power will be lost. In order to avoid a power outage due to mechanical failure and the subsequent delays in getting the required crews in to fix it, the City has chosen to plan a scheduled power outage to do the necessary work. Only by scheduling can the city successfully reduce the length of a power outage. In addition to this, a scheduled power outage will allow the citizens and businesses to properly plan ahead and prepare themselves for such an event.
A question some may have is why the city would not consider running the power plant during such an event. Besides the danger and risk in running the old engines due to their disrepair, a portion of the work requires that both the Transmission Line and Power Plant not be operated. In case of a failure by either of the devices, the power plant would be useless until the items are repaired.
At this time, the federal agency (SPP) is requiring that the meters be installed prior to May 1st when the contract begins with the KMEA. Therefore the City has scheduled the power outage tentatively for Sunday, April 13th around 1 pm. The amount of time for the outage will be about 4 hours. The City promises its citizens that the work will be done with the utmost speed and accuracy. If however inclement weather occurs, the city will need to postpone the work for another day, but as was stated, it must occur prior to May 1st.
The City therefore requests that all residential and commercial users prepare themselves for this power outage. Take all necessary precautions prior to this event especially if you have medical care needs. The Hospital and County Courthouse both have backup generation in case there is an emergency. It must also be noted that water and sewer services will be interrupted during this time. Please refrain as much as possible from running sewer through. Once the power is back online, please allow time for the water and sewer to catch up.
There may be future events in which smaller power outages will need to occur as not all of the work can be done at this time. When those times come, the City guarantees its citizens that as much notice as possible will be given ahead of time to allow everyone to prepare.
Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience. At the same time, it is better to have a controlled and short power outage than to have mechanical failures and outages that are lengthy and out of our control. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the City Administrator.