Electrical Distribution System Upgrade Project
Questions or Concerns
March 2020 (Breckenridge Public Utilities Newsletter- Click Here)
Fellow Breckenridge Ratepayers,
The following is a brief update on the city’s electrical distribution system, including the Engineering study, the findings/recommendations, and what the City’s plans are going forward.
As you may have already heard or read, Breckenridge has completed an engineering study on its electrical distribution system and substation infrastructure. The full Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is HERE. The following is a summarization of that study:
*The distribution system is aged and much of it is nearing “end of life”
*Two of the three substations are at their end of life expectancy
*Build two new substations where each is capable of carrying the demand load and eliminate the third (Water Plant) substation.
*Increase the distribution voltage from 4160/2400VAC to 12470/7500VAC
*Replace all distribution transformers to accommodate new voltage level
*Overhead distribution service should be converted to underground
*Develop a strategic plan that can accomplish the CIP over the next 10 – 15 years
*Total proposed estimated cost - $15.4 million dollars.
The proposed plan and cost assume all work is to be contracted out. While much of the work will require contractor support, City officials are exploring alternative approaches for some of the work that is required. The City has a talented electrical lineman crew that has expertise in most of the technical areas that are needed for this project; however, we have minimal staff (three personnel). Moreover, the City does not possess all the necessary equipment to accomplish such a large project and get it done in a timely manner.
Replacing outdated underground and converting overhead to underground is an enormous task and will require a tremendous amount of horizontal boring. Boring, as opposed to trenching, will be the least intrusive to the resident’s home and City boulevards.
This project will be ongoing for many years and will be broken down into manageable annual project workloads. The project will remain fluid as the City will always reserve the right to alter or make adjustments to the plan as deemed appropriate. The City will take all necessary measures to minimize the inconvenience to our citizens, and we will do our best to communicate to all residents that will be impacted each year.
Now that the project has been laid out, how does this project get paid for? Breckenridge Public Utilities is planning a rate increase of 1 cent ($.01) per kwh, half cent (.005) per load management kwh. Demand rates for Industrial and Commercial users will increase fifty cents (.50) per KW demand. Rate changes are HERE.
I ask for your support and cooperation as we move forward with this work.
Neil Crocker, Director of Public Service