Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

KCPL at fault for power outages

August 16, 2007

Two separate power outages in Baldwin City Sunday night were the result of problems with KCPL, which supplies the city on off-peak times in the summer.

The city has been generating its own power during the recent heat wave, but typically doesn't during the weekends. However, the city was generating until about 6 p.m. Sunday, then switched to the KCPL feed. That's when problems occurred.

The first outage was at 7:30 p.m., but power was eventually restored for a short while. The second outage was at 9:30 p.m. and lasted almost to midnight. The problems were the result of sub-station switches, said City Administrator Jeff Dingman.

"We typically don't generate on weekends, but we have generated for the last 10 days or so, including weekends, and will probably continue to generate every day until the heat wave breaks," said Dingman. "We generated (Sunday) until about 6 p.m. and had no issues.

"All the issues happened when we started taking our full load again from KCPL," he said.

The problem was in switching at the sub-station from the KCPL Gardner feed. Eventually, the switch was made to the Ottawa feed and that's when power was restored for good. KCPL had a crew in Baldwin City Monday to try and correct the problems.

Because the problem was unknown, city utility personnel decided it was too risky to try and generate. Had the problem been with KCPL and not the sub-station, damage could have been done to the generating plant, Dingman said.

He also said Tuesday that KCPL was continuing to have "issues" with the Gardner feed and were working on it. Until it's fixed, Baldwin City's KCPL power will be coming from Ottawa.

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