Fulton power supplier generates less power than city expected

City’s budget sees $198,700 shortfall from additional power purchases

One of Fulton’s power sources did not generate enough electricity for the city so far for 2014 — causing the city to purchase power from the open market. That purchase has given the city a $198,700 shortfall for the 2014 year, through June 27.

The city owns a small percentage of the plant at the Prairie State Generating Co. Fulton purchased five megawatts in each of the two units at the plant. Together, the two generators produce 1,600 megawatts of power. The plant, located in Washington County, Illinois, supplies power across several states including Missouri and Illinois.

The city’s 2014 budget assumed that Prairie State’s two units would each produce power at full load 80 percent of the time. Darrell Dunlap, superintendent of utilities for Fulton, said 80 percent was on the low end of the average availability of each of the units. However, unit one has produced at full load 71.2 percent of the time and unit two has produced 51.7 percent of the time so far for 2014. Prairie State had some planned outages for 2014, however, additional outages occurred, causing the units to perform less.

Dunlap said both units need to run well for the last half of the year to make up for the low production in the first half of the year. The city will consider the units’ performance when it creates the budget for 2015.

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