August 13, 2022

PLWC discusses utility poles, water and electricity in a meeting | New

Infrastructure was a key part of Paragould Light Water and Cable’s meeting on Wednesday, as officials discussed utility poles as well as water and electricity usage in hot weather in recent weeks.

Electrical engineer Landon Long spoke to the board about the utility pole issue, which involves a 69 kV transmission line system.

The electrical supply for the system goes to Paragould on two lines – the Partlow substation and the South West Electricity Administration substation.

From there, power is converted to 12 kV and sent to homes, businesses and schools, officials said.

A key element of electricity supply involves utility poles in the city. The city has 681 poles – 418 steel and 263 wooden – to supply electricity. Utility officials said this week they have been working to replace wooden poles with steel poles because steel poles are stronger, have fewer maintenance issues and last longer.

They also work to inspect the wooden posts for possible problems. A recent inspection revealed that only three of the wooden posts needed replacing in the system.

Board members received the Southwestern Power Administration’s progress report, indicating that the hydroelectric system was 113.4% full of stored energy. Officials said PLWC received 14,304 MW of additional power, with an hourly peak of 108 MW, a daily peak of 2,065 MW and a total monthly city load of 51,800 MW.

Officials were also made aware of social media issues and reports of a possible power shortage. Currently, the utility has a capacity load of 160 MW and the utility typically sees its peak time during the winter, while most utilities see its peak during the summer.

As for water, officials said the utility’s water treatment plant capacity is six million gallons. Daily peak usage at the utility is sometimes at 90% capacity, but officials say the system still has excesses and they are not asking people to conserve water.

PLWC is also looking to add a high-service pumphouse and three million gallon storage tank above to increase system capacity.

Board members also received an update on the Wartsila Controls Update Project. So far, PLWC has spent over $1.6 million on the project to help with the utility engines.

Board members also honored Charles “Chops” McDole as the Public Service Employee Star of the Month. McDole has worked with PLWC for 31 years and has worked as a warehouse specialist since 2016.

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