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Wind power down in county; Maintenance issues blamed for reduction  

Credit:  By Chris Frost, Ledger Editor | Lamar Ledger | 04/30/2015 | www.lamarledger.com ~~

Wind power in the area is down and affecting the output for the Lamar Utilities Board renewable energy operation.

During his System Operating Report, Superintendent Houssin Hourieh said the wind turbine performance for the first quarter of 2015 indicates that the three turbines have generated 2,167 megawatt-hours with an average capacity factor of 22.7 percent.

“The wind turbine’s analysis showed that the 2015 wind power production is approximately 29 percent lower than the same time in 2014,” he said. “The capacity factor was approximately 28 percent lower than the same period in 2014.”

The lack of wind power production is attributed to the combination of less wind, and down time to replace aging wind turbine component systems.

“It seems like after 10 years of operation, we start to see more and more system component failures,” he said. “The down time to replace them contributed the reduction of power production.”

The agency tries to work with Colorado Green to get parts, which helps.

“Sometimes you order a part and it takes a week to deliver,” Hourieh said. “We can’ stop everything.”

Most of the items that fail, he said, are electronics.

“With electronics you don’t know when it’s going to fail,” he said. “You test it, check your voltage and everything looks good and one day you come and it’s not working.”

If the problem is mechanical the utility is very proactive and performs repairs right away.

The semi-annual maintenance is nearing completion.

Scholarship

The group also discussed the 2015 ARPA Scholarship.

“This year we had a total of six completed applications received for the $1,000 scholarship,” Accounts Clerk Leala Owen said. “Three were from McClave, two were from Lamar and one was received from Wiley.”

Owen said she needed to volunteers from the board to complete the selection process.

The anonymous process allows the student to be selected on his or her academic and community achievements.

Hospital expansion

Prowers Medical Center CEO approached the board and asked if light and Power could help the hospital defray the expense involved with relocating a 25kv line

“As you know, they are expanding the hospital,” Hourieh said. “The way they are moving east there is a 25kv line that ties in with the hospital transformer.

“With the expansion, the line will be buried under the building.

“It’s not safe,” he said. “We have to relocate the line.”

To move the line, it will cost $24,216.

“In the past, the only thing we can do is, and it’s your decision, is to void the labor,” Hourieh said. “Everything else we have to buy and use.”

Labor for the project is $7,200, which will reduce the bill to $17,016.

Board President Mike Bryant asked how much the truck usage and equipment use will save.

“That’s for our bucket truck, digger truck and backhoe,” Hourieh said. “Is that something we can forgive?”

Hourieh reiterated his stance that it is the board’s decision.

“I think I would be open to let them have that too,” Bryant said. “We can revisit the college and do the same thing.”

The action will save the hospital an additional $2,000.

Financials

Purchase orders totaled $55,633.

“I would like to out purchase order 84514 Burns and McDonnell, which is engineering services for the Lamar Repowering Project though the month of March,” Superintendent Housin Hourieh said. “Then 84509, for Mountain States Employers, which is an annual membership fee that is a shared cost for the city.”

There were no repowering project purchase orders.

Source:  By Chris Frost, Ledger Editor | Lamar Ledger | 04/30/2015 | www.lamarledger.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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