Entries by KMEA

Seneca City Council discusses Substation and Generation Projects

On December 20th KMEA staff presented options for discussion on a new substation and generation project to the city of Seneca City Council.

Several months ago, Evergy proposed substantial upgrades to the substation that currently serves Seneca and the local Rural Electric Cooperative.   Seneca staff reached out to KMEA for review of the Evergy plan and potential additional cost to the city if this project got completed.  KMEA and city staff quickly put a list of options together for presentation to the Seneca city council.  The city council reviewed five different options at the meeting.  These options consisted of Evergy moving forward on the rebuilding of the current substation to Seneca city adding a substation along with three generating units to the city’s electric department.  Currently Seneca does not have generating capacity as part of their electric utility.   “The goal for the city is to provide the most reliable and economic utility possible” says Steve Brooks, city manager.

FERC Accepts CAISO Tariff Changes for Western Day-Ahead Electricity Market

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December accepted changes to the California Independent System Operator’s tariff that will enable it to launch a Western day-ahead electricity market.

The acceptance of Western day-ahead market rules by FERC was paired with approval of another significant set of ISO tariff changes that will provide important day-ahead market enhancements.

Collectively, these new rules are known as the Day-Ahead Market Enhancements (DAME) and the Extended Day-Ahead Market (EDAM).

Grid Monitor Warns of Blackout Risks as Coal Plants Retire

Rolling blackouts are a rising threat across the U.S. as aging power grids collide with extreme weather, rising electricity demand and a shift to cleaner fuels, the nation’s top grid monitor warned Wednesday. In a report, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. said most regions of the country face growing risks of inadequate electricity supplies […]

SPP marks milestones and progress across western efforts in early November

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Since 2019 when Southwest Power Pool (SPP) officially became a reliability coordinator for several utilities in the Western Interconnection, the grid operator has steadily grown its western customer base and portfolio of western services. The first two weeks of November 2023 have seen SPP make significant progress in continuing to advance three of those services: its operation of the Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP) on behalf of Western Power Pool; Markets+, SPP’s proposed bundle of day-ahead and real-time market services; and expansion of SPP’s regional transmission organization (RTO) services into the Western Interconnection.

Florida Municipal Power Agency Voices Concerns About EPA Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rule

The Florida Municipal Power Agency recently filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency voicing concerns about EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas rule for electric utilities.

The rule, which targets CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants, presents unique challenges in Florida, FMPA noted.

FMPA is a wholesale power agency owned by municipal electric utilities in Florida.

Florida relies on natural gas generation for 75% of its power supply, “by far the highest percentage in the United States. It would be one of the most impacted states by EPA’s proposed rule, which would introduce experimental ‘green’ hydrogen to partially fuel natural gas power plants by 2032,” FMPA said in a news release related to the comments.

December Natural Gas Report

Storage Levels Continue to Grow

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a rare late-season injection of 10 Billion Cubic Feet (Bcf) into storage for the week ended November 24th.  Expectations were for a 10 Bcf withdrawal due to the colder temperatures over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Current storage inventory is at 3,836 Bcf which is nearly 9% above the five-year average.

First Steps Taken Towards New Generation in Russell

At the November 21st Russell council meeting the city council approved a resolution authorizing and providing for the acquisition and installation of 15 Megawatts of generation.

Representatives from KMEA, Gilmore Bell, Stifel, and Russell staff presented the generation project details and its stages to the City Council.  The project consists of five 3 Megawatts CAT generating units to be added in both power plant locations.

Grid Resilience Grant Due December 29th

As part of the Department of Energy’s goal to improve grid resilience the Kansas Corporation Commission has received a grant for small utilities to apply for.  The primary goal of the program is to demonstrate measurable improvements in energy resilience, with a focus to necessary and supporting grid modernization investments in rural, underserved, and disadvantaged communities, to invest in modernized grid infrastructure and to create good-paying jobs.

Oberlin Takes Delivery of Two CAT Engines

On October 23rd the city of Oberlin took delivery of two new CAT C175 3.0 MW engines.  This marks the first delivery of equipment under KMEA’s new financing program.  These engines will replace the city’s current, outdated generation.  In addition to providing Oberlin with easy-to-run, reliable generation that will serve the community in time of need for many years to come, they also help the city meet its Southwest Power Pool capacity requirement .

The KMEA financing program is aimed to give cities an option when a large, capital-intensive project, like the purchase of new generation, is needed for the utility.  KMEA assumes the project-related debt on behalf of the city.  The city reimburses KMEA through a capacity contract payment that is simply included on KMEA’s normal monthly power supply bill.