The Electric Production Department operates a power plant which is comprised of two generators, one each of:
- 6 megawatts (MW)
- 15 MW
Both generators are "co-generation" units which means that steam is extracted from the turbine for use by the District Energy Department for high- and low-pressure steam customers.
The department also has two back-pressure turbines that were installed in 2012. These are turbines that will convert the high-pressure steam (400 lbs.) to district energy (either 140 lbs. or 10 lbs.) by driving a generator to make electricity, which in effect will reduce the pressure of the steam to export to our District Energy customers. Otherwise, the steam had been going through a pressure-reducing valve and all the excess energy was lost.
Natural Gas & Combustion
The power plant was designed to burn coal, natural gas, or a combination of both. Through permitting, we are currently only using natural gas. The department constantly monitors its cost to generate power versus the cost to purchase power to ensure it provides its customers with reliable service at the most economical cost, while ensuring that its nitrogen oxide (NOx) stack emissions comply with applicable federal and state pollution standards.
In addition, two combustion turbines are maintained to be used during peak load periods or when purchased power is not available.
The Electric Distribution Department provides service through a network of six miles of 69 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission line, 37 miles of overhead distribution lines, and 74 miles of buried distribution lines which serve approximately 7,226 customers.
The department continues to improve the reliability of our system for our customers by continuing to bury the overhead lines, provide wildlife protection on our equipment, and trim trees around power and service lines annually.
Public Utilities Commission Regulations require that all new subdivisions in the city be served with underground distribution, which increases reliability to the distribution system.
Customers wanting to upgrade their electric service, have their overhead power lines buried, and/or move their electric meter to the exterior of their house may find information here: Install, Change or Upgrade Your Utility Service.
Residents may report a street light outage by calling us at 507-359-8295 or by completing this online form: Report a Street Light Outage