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FELPS to study power outages, Eagle Creek substation issues
Wilson County NewsApril 2, 2014 | 3,195 views | 1 comment
Eleven years have passed since the Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) has performed a system study. This is why General Manager Kyle Dicke told the board of trustees at its March 26 meeting that an evaluation of the utility’s entire system, which should be conducted once every 10 years, is set to begin soon.
Dicke said the first item to be reviewed is the Eagle Creek substation on F.M. 775 across from the Floresville North Elementary School. The station aids in the delivery of power to the northern reaches of the FELPS territory, which includes communities such as Calaveras, Cañada Verde, Eagle Creek, and Saspamco. Customers in those areas continue to report intermittent power “blinks,” the durations of which are not long enough to show up as “outages,” he said.
The Eagle Creek substation also provides power to the Wilson County portion of the Mission Rail Park. Part of the evaluation at the substation will determine whether its current configuration will allow FELPS to service the rail park. If not, Dicke said FELPS either will have to make improvements, build another substation, or forfeit the territory to San Antonio-based CPS Energy, which services the rest of the rail park.
Also related to power delivery, Dicke said FELPS experienced a total of 11 substation outages for the month of March:
•The Falls City substation had four outages: March 11, March 12, March 15, and March 16. Two had unknown causes, one was due to high winds, and one was due to “bad settings on reclosures.”
•The Floresville substation had four outages: Two on March 10 were due to malfunctioning feeders and a snake in a lightning arrestor, March 12 was due to a tie wire that broke nearby, and March 16 was caused by a lightning strike.
•The Sutherland Springs substation had three outages, all of which occurred in a four-hour period on March 3. A combination of issues including high winds, cold weather, and underbuilt -- overloaded -- wiring contributed to this situation.
“None of them were of great length,” Dicke said. “But 11 outages for the month is too many.”
In other business, the board is set to meet April 16 to discuss upcoming changes to FELPS’ rate structure. Dicke said final approval of the rate structure will rest with the Floresville City Council, since the city owns two- thirds of the utility.
Also in attendance: Finance Manager Marcy Jacobs and trustees Mark Moczygemba, Vernon Lambeck, Roger Miller, Ignacio Vasquez, Larry Stavinoha, and Floresville Mayor Diana Garza; Floresville City Manager Henrietta Turner.
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