Local News

Two Large Projects Keep Electric Department Busy

powerElectrical system reliability and redundancy are the goals involved in two large projects that the City of Russell Electric Utilities Department is currently working on, said Department Director Duane Banks recently.

Banks explained work on upgrading the currently lower voltage power loop around the city to a higher 34,500 voltage is progressing well and will add redundancy to the system to hopefully alleviate the severity or occurrence of outages. He also said teardown of one of the city's black start generators, which is used in an outage to start initial power production, has begun. According to Banks, that generator, Unit #7, is in serious need of repairs and the Russell City Council will vote at its next regular meeting on February 19 whether or not to give Banks the green light to completely overhaul the unit.

Banks explains what sort of completion timeline each of these projects involves. 

"The 34-5 loop, we projected that to be about an 18-month project. The way things are moving right now, there's a very good chance that we'll have it completed much sooner than that. I don't want to commit to anything, but things are progressing very well on that," Banks said. "The overhaul on Unit #7, once Council gives direction and we start with that, we're probably going to be looking at a 30 to 45 day process to get that unit put back together."

Banks said other, smaller upgrades and updates also continue to be made within his department and the system as a whole; all in an effort, he said, to serve Russell better and become more efficient.

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