Russell City Council Approves Project to Upgrade Fossil Street Electric Substation

Russell City Council 5-4-21
Russell City Council 5-4-21

The Russell City Council met Tuesday and approved a project to upgrade the Fossil Street Electric Substation.

The City of Russell's electric service area includes the City proper and approximately 50 square miles of rural service area primarily located south of the City according to City staff. City crews regularly perform maintenance and upgrades on the City's electric distribution system to increase reliability. City crews built an alternate 34.5 kilovolt distribution line from the Homer Substation in the south to the Main Plant to complete the alternate 34.5 kV loop. The project included Substations Two and Four upgrades.

Because of the age of the distribution system, City staff recommended and the City Council previously approved development of a multiyear plan to upgrade the electric distribution system within the City proper. The upgrade, completed in phases, is expected to take 10 years to allow for adequate planning, design and funding. The Council previously approved a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Kansas Municipal Energy Agency/Mid-States to work with the City on this project.

The first project task, completed in December 2021, was a complete inventory of all distribution system assets to better aid in the engineer's design and eventual staking of circuits. From this information, City staff worked with KMEA/Mid-States and RMA Engineering to develop the multiyear plan and priorities.

City of Russell Electric Utility Director Duane Banks, along with Mike Schmaderer, Director of Engineering and Field Services for KMEA/Mid-States and JP Metzler of RMA Engineering, discussed the electric distribution rebuild assessment priorities with the East Residential One and Two circuits as the first priority. The Council approved Task Order Four to the MSA with KMEA/Mid-States for engineering, procurement and bidding for those circuits.

During the process, some items, such a conductor wire, have a 52-week lead time due to supply chain issues. To keep the multiyear project moving, City staff recommended moving to another segment of the rebuild and making necessary upgrades to the Fossil Street Substation, which is the main substation located behind the downtown power plant.

KMEA/MidStates submitted Task Order Five for the substation upgrades in the amount of $170,000. Upgrades include replacing duct work, replacing aged insulators to provide additional clearance for voltage and moving the feeds underground that serve the East Residential and North Residential circuits.

Once the Task Four materials become available, City staff will bid construction services. Tasks Four and Five can run concurrently.

The Council approved Task Order Five to the MSA on Tuesday.