City seeks second source of KCPL power
City officials are entering negotiations with Kansas City Power & Light to provide a second source of electricity to Baldwin City and increasing the capacity of the current line feeding into town.
The tentative plans are to upgrade the KCPL line from Gardner to Baldwin City from a 9 megawatt capacity to a capacity of 13.5 megawatts, and to provide a second service from Ottawa also capable of bringing 13.5 megawatts to the city.
The city would share the cost of the $1.6 million project, paying about $725,000. Details are still to be negotiated. The project would be funded in the 2002 budget.
City Administrator Larry Paine said the increased capacity and second source of electricity would provide enough energy to the growing city for at least 10 years.
"Basically we are hoping this will take care of electric problems for 8-10 years," said City Council member Ted Brecheisen Jr. at Monday night's council meeting. "This is one of our better options for getting electricity into town."
During previous meetings, KCPL considered replacing the current 34,500 volt line from Gardner to Baldwin City with a 161,000 volt line which would require two new substations in Baldwin City.
"That didn't work out," Paine said of the other option. "(The new line) would dead end here and they weren't interested in doing that."
The city also looked into the cost of purchasing another generator for the power plant. The cost would exceed $2 million.
"This is a lot cheaper," said Mayor Stan Krysztof of the two lines capable of carrying 13.5 megawatts of power.
Paine said having a second source of electricity would keep the city with power in the event of a line being damaged by storms or other reasons. A new substation will not have to built for the current plan.
The city set a record for electricity use on July 10, when customers consumed 7.047 megawatts of power. The previous record 7.003 megawatts was set last year on July 26. So far, the city has been able to support the load without any problems. The city receives power from the Grand River Dam Authority (3 megawatts), the Board of Public Utilities (up to 2.5 megawatts), KCPL and has been using its generators at the power plant almost everyday for two weeks.
City utility director Terry McKinney said the KCPL line from Gardner that can bring up to 9 megawatts of electricity to Baldwin City will not be able to meet energy demands for the city by 2003.