Polar Vortex No Match for ARPA Member Electric Systems: As the polar vortex swept through the ARPA communities and surrounding region this past February, many of our neighboring utilities and states experienced significant power outages that ranged from a few minutes to a few hours, and worse. Fortunately for the ARPA communities, the hard work and planning that our community owned electric systems do to “keep the lights on” paid off. The operating personnel from the cities and towns of Holly, La Junta, Lamar, Las Animas, Springfield, and Trinidad reported little, if any, outages despite temperatures that reached 25 below zero and included wind chill factors of negative 40. Kudos to our local electric utilities for their ongoing commitment to maintain service that keep our houses warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and our businesses operational despite the challenges from Mother Nature.

ARPA Provides Funding for Repurposing Power Generation Equipment to Agriculture Processing Equipment: ARPA reached an agreement with the City of Lamar and North Fork Grain to repurpose equipment that had previously been used for power generation. ARPA redirected funding that was to be used for the demolition of the coal storage domes, ash and limestone silos and associated conveyor systems located on the north side of its Lamar Repowering Project, to be used to support an agriculture facility proposed by North Fork Grain. North Fork Grain hopes to begin its operations at the repurposed north side in the summer of 2021.

Update on the Dismantling of the LRP: The demolition of the Lamar Repowering Project has begun, starting with the demolition of the baghouse on the west side. From there they will move to the turbine/generator building, and the air-cooled condenser. Jackson Demolition, the contractor, is also working on non-structural demolition activities to the boiler in preparation for its demolition. The demolition work is anticipated to be complete by late spring or early summer this year.

Wind Turbine Generation for 2020 3rd Highest in 15 Years of Operation: During the year end operating report, it was noted that the wind generation for ARPA and Lamar Light and Power wind turbines was the 3rd highest since the turbines first full year of operation in 2005. The turbines were commissioned in the spring of 2004 and are approaching 16 years of operation. Typically, the five wind turbines produce between 7% and 8% of ARPA’s energy needs; however, for the months of March (11%), May (11%) and November (12%), the generation exceeded projections. ARPA’s power supply from wind for 2020 was an average of 9%.

Summary of January 2021 Financial and Operating Statements: During the month of January, revenue from power sales were 4.8% less than budget and total cost of goods sold were under budget by 3.7%. Net loss for January was $77,840. Member energy sales YTD are 3.6% less than budget.

Next ARPA Meeting: The next regularly scheduled meeting of the ARPA Board of Directors is Thursday, March 25, 2021. Currently, the meeting is scheduled to be held face to face at the Cultural Events Center in Lamar. The meeting notice and agenda will be posted on the ARPA website at least 24-hours in advance of the meeting.

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