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   City of Pratt Power Plant

Power Plant Superintendent
Bryan Evans

The City of Pratt’s Electrical Generation Department is responsible for the electrical power requirements for the City of Pratt and customers in our electrical distribution area located within Pratt County. These power requirements are provided from city owned and operated electrical generation units and from a 115 kilovolt interconnection with Sunflower Electric Cooperative.  The Cities total generation capacity is 34.1 megawatts provided by a 17.5 megawatt steam plant that contains two generators; a 12.5 megawatt unit and a 5 megawatt unit and a 15.6 megawatt internal combustion plant that houses two 7 megawatt duel fuel units, one of which is Black start for emergency purposes. In addition the city has a 1 megawatt diesel unit that is a black start unit for emergency power plant house pumps and auxiliaries needed to start steam units and duel fuel units when needed. The cities 115 KV interconnect with the Sunflower Electric Cooperative are governed by a KCC approved Local Interconnection Agreement that controls the standards which the cities electrical systems must operate within. Restraints within the electrical transmission systems within Kansas make it necessary for the city to generate a portion of its power requirements when the capacity of the distribution systems within the area is exceeded. The cities ability to generate its own power is also necessary and a very valuable asset when the city is disconnected from the electrical grid due to emergency situations or maintenance requirements.

Examples of the importance of the cities ability to generate its own electricity were during the May of 2002 tornado which caused damage to the west side of Pratt and the destruction of the 115KV transmission interconnect line which ties Pratt to the outside electrical grid. The power plant provided power to the entire customer base for approximately a week while the transmission system was repaired. Again in the ice storm of 2005, the plant provided power to the city. In October 2006, the production department ran the steam plant and diesel plant for two weeks while maintenance on the 115KV (voltage control) tap changer was completed. Most recently during the winter of 2007-8, the diesel plant produced the entire load of the City while Southern Pioneer (A division of Pioneer Electric, one of the Cooperatives that owns Sunflower Electric) repaired their 115KV transmission feeder (City of Pratt interconnect) breaker. All of these times the power plant produced supply power to the city of Pratt. Without the city owned generation, these unavoidable transmission interruptions would have caused a City wide extended power outage for the Citizens of Pratt and the surrounding service area.

The production department has 12 Employees with a combined 183 years of experience (15.25 years average). The training program used at the plant consists of four Sections; each section consists of four chapter tests. The employee must score a 90% or better on each chapter test to move on to the next section. All employees are expected to complete the training program. The employees of the power plant have diverse responsibilities which include electrical functions, maintenance and overhaul of all units, monitoring energy markets, operation of the generation units, and comply with the all the requirements of the interconnect agreements.

In November, 2005 the City Of Pratt received notification from Aquila that the cities long term power supply contract was being cancelled. This contract had been in affect for 29 years. City management and staff, after extensive research, determined that Kansas Municipal Energy Agency’s (KMEA) Energy Management Program (EMP) was the best program for Pratt’s energy future. It has allowed us to be individual cities but act as a group when necessary to purchase energy from KMEA (Kansas Municipal Energy Agency), MKEC (Mid Kansas Electric Cooperative), Sunflower Electric, or any other supplier. This change has made the power plant employees very diverse; operating two plants, maintenance, and overhauls of the steam turbines and internal combustion units. The power plant staff also monitors the hourly price of energy. Due to the volatility of the price, energy can fluctuate by 100% or more in an hour. This exposure to the market requires city personnel to learn how to track energy as well as natural gas prices, since we have the option to purchase energy and natural gas on an hourly basis when necessary to produce or purchase the lowest cost energy available to the city

The EMP process has made it financially equitable for the City of Pratt and eight other cities to continue providing power to the community. As a group under KMEA the city was able to get our transmission secured from the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and allow KMEA to do our transmission scheduling. This allows each city to have their own transmission rights and not have to become a member of SPP. It also allowed the group to use KMEA to help with contract negotiation with Mid Kansas Electric Company (MKEC). The city is now purchasing base load power from MKEC (Base load power is the energy that we use 24 hours a day 365 days a year). The city, the EMP and KMEA are always looking for new suppliers for base load contracts. The EMP is now in the negotiation process for a load following contract with Sunflower Electric (load following is the portion of electricity that is above your base load energy needs and is purchased from one supplier at an hourly price). The EMP has hired Rainbow Energy Marketing to help manage the EMP’s load schedule, the city’s base load, load following, and peaking power. They also purchase all the peaking power (peaking power is the power you only use a few hour a day when your load is at the highest) and market power when available (market power is the power you buy off the grid). Rainbow will also dispatch the units within the EMP when financially appropriate. All the cities have the ability to sell power to other cities in the EMP when the load following or peaking energy price is above the cost of Pratt to generate, when we generate for the EMP all of our costs are paid by the EMP.

To learn about the distribution of electrical power in the City of Pratt, please click here.

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Pratt News
The Main Street bricks that have been stockpiled north of the College in the Business Park are now available to the General Public. The bricks are for use by the citizens of Pratt County only. Bricks shall be loaded by hand, not by loaders or large equipment, to ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to acquire their share of the bricks for their own use. Contractors and other Cities are not permitted access to the bricks for any reason.


The City of Pratt would like anyone who has sewer drain problems on the lowest floor of your home to call the City crews first before calling a plumber. City crews will check the sewer mains to determine if the problem is in the main or in your private line at no charge. This may help avoid an unnecessary plumbing bill and prevent damage to your home. Please call 672-3191, 672-3866 or 672-3831 after hours.

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