Entries by KMEA

Russell faces Challenges after Severe Storm

The city of Russell experienced another severe storm the afternoon of May 19.  With winds sweeping through the region at over 80 mph the city and the region received extensive damage to the distribution system. 

The city immediately began to determine the extent of the damage and developed a plan of action to repair the system and restore power to the city’s customers.

A coordinated effort of multiple communities was initiated by Kansas Municipal Utilities.  The cities of Garden City, Ellinwood, Hoisington, Colby, and Pratt responded to a community in need with manpower, equipment, and materials to expedite the rebuilding process.

The City of Oberlin Commissions New Power Plant

The city of Oberlin officially made electricity May 21st with the two new C175 Cat Generators.  The city staff along with KMEA/Mid-States and Foley Equipment made final adjustments to “light up” the new generation this May.   

This project was first approved by the Oberlin governing body on December 15, 2022.   This is the first generation project utilizing the KMEA financing structure.  This structure allows the city to utilize KMEA to bond the capital for the construction cost.  The city will see that debt obligation as a capacity charge on the monthly bill from KMEA.  

The City of Garden City is hiring a Full-Time Journeyman Lineman

The City of Garden City is accepting applications for a Journeyman Lineman with the Electric Department. This position is responsible for installing and maintaining electrical power systems, street lighting systems, airport electrical systems, and devices unique to municipal systems. The wage range for this position is $38.03 – $45.41 per hour.

Ottawa Replaces Catalyst on Two Generators

The city of Ottawa recently completed the replacement of the catalyst on the Cooper units 6 & 7 at the power plant.   

The city made the decision to replace the catalyst for a couple reasons.  First, the old catalyst was creating back pressure and causing increased heat on the turbo exhaust.  Secondly, because of the location of the old catalyst the emissions reduction was narrowly meeting the 70% reduction standard. 

The new DCL catalyst/mufflers were purchased through and installed by Wheeler World in Ohio for under $375,000. 

Applications open for $1.3 Billion in Funding to Continue Expanding National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

The Biden-Harris Administration opened applications today for a historic $1.3 billion funding opportunity for electric vehicle (EV) charging and alternative-fueling infrastructure in urban and rural communities and along designated highways, interstates, and major roadways. This is the largest single grant funding opportunity for EV charging in the nation’s history and it will accelerate public and private investment in clean transportation in the places where people live, work, and play.

KMEA announces APPA Public Power Manager Program

KMEA is excited to announce the APPA/KMEA Public Power Manager Certificate Program.  KMEA will sponsor up to three individuals to attend and participate in the APPA public power manager certificate program.  This program is intended to develop individual leaders’ skills, skills development, coaching practice, and team building within the utility industry.

Neil Rowland Retires from KMEA

After four decades of service to the energy industry, Neil retired on May 3rd.

Neil graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree from Oklahoma State University. His first job right out of college was in 1985 with the then Missouri Public Service as a load dispatcher. Subsequently, he held many titles, including transmission operator, technical services engineer, energy trader, day-ahead energy trader, and finally manager of wholesale operations. He began his employment with KMEA in 2007 to take the position of Director of Operations. Neil then took the position of Director of Transmission and Security, a title he held until retirement.

2024 KMEA and KMGA Virtual Board of Directors Meetings

The KMEA (Kansas Municipal Energy Agency) and KMGA (Kansas Municipal Gas Agency) held their respective Board of Directors meetings on May 1, 2024. These meetings saw great attendance from representatives of 49 cities for the KMEA meeting and 29 cities for the KMGA meeting.

During the KMGA meeting, Mike Meyer reviewed the 2023 financials, Paul Mahlberg gave a presentation on Future Natural Gas Supply, Terri Pemberton presented the general Counsel Report, and Dixie Riedel presented the Gas Director’s Report.

PHMSA grant opportunity set to open for 2024

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is set to open the 2024 notice of funding opportunity for the Natural Gas Distribution Infrastrucute Safety and Moderniztion Grant.  This opportunity will be announced through the www.grants.gov website.  PHMSA held a webinar on May 6th to review changes and announce the details of the grant.  According to APGA the timeline to apply will be six weeks from the time of formal announcement.  Communities interested in the opportunity and would like to review the slides from the webinar are encouraged to visit the NGDISM website linked above.  If you should have any questions, please contact Kansas Municipal Gas Agency.

EPA power plant rule targets coal. Does that spell trouble for the grid?

Piles of coal parked at the entrance of Baltimore Harbor are the gateway to one of the biggest fossil fuel plants in the mid-Atlantic region.

After years of public debate and litigation brought by the Sierra Club, the 1,283-megawatt Brandon Shores coal-burning power station is expected to close in 2025 under an agreement with its owner. If the plant retires, it will be another step in the nation’s decisive shift away from coal generation.

But Brandon Shores is also seen by some grid officials as a poster child for the threat to electric reliability posed by the quickening pace of closures of fossil fuel plants. And it illustrates the distance U.S. climate policy has to go to both usher polluting plants off the grid while guaranteeing electricity can be generated and shipped from elsewhere to meet rising demand. It’s a dynamic underscored by EPA’s power plant rule release last week, which calls for coal generating plants and large new natural gas plants to capture most carbon emissions by 2032 or get on a retirement schedule. The rules could be eased in grid emergencies.