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Spring City discusses power, gets update on spring redevelopment

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

5-10-2018

 

SPRING CITY—The Spring City Council approved the alternative repowering of the Intermountain Power Project (IPP), and heard an update on spring redevelopment.

Dan Eldridge, general manager from IPP, presented an overview of what the “alternative repowering” of IPP meant, and how it would affect Spring City.

Eldridge explained how the IPP was essentially two coal-fired electrical plants near Delta. The electrical energy produced there powered 35 municipalities in California and Utah.

Due to changes in California, IPP would be switching from coal to natural gas, starting in 2020 and going through 2025. Also, the California municipalities would not need 1,200 megawatts, so the plants would power down to 840 megawatts.

IPP has to have approval from all 35 municipalities to approve this change.

Councilman Tom Brunner said he had heard that 400 workers were going to be laid off due to the switch. Eldridge said it would not be that many, but there would be fewer workers. Brunner replied, “I’m not happy with this.”

Eldridge answered he was not happy about the loss of workers either, but he then pointed out Utah has never paid for the energy from the plants due to the contributions from California; so California’s needs were paramount in IPP’s operation.

Also, the whole country is moving away from coal to natural gas, due to natural gas becoming cheaper, along with renewables. Ted Olsen, Spring City’s representative to the Coordinating Committee of IPP, added most of the worker reductions will be through retirement. Younger employees are being “shopped” to nearby industries, or they are being re-trained for the new power plant.

Councilman Chris Anderson asked if the councils don’t approve the change, everything shuts down? Eldridge answered, “Yes.”

Eldridge ended by saying the changeover would have no cost to Spring City; it would keep an energy source in reserve for the city; and it can meet needs for future potential growth. The contract was approved unanimously.

Tyler Faddis, assistant project manager from Jones & DeMille Engineering in charge of the spring redevelopment project for Spring City, said the project schedule is “on track.”

He stated the plans are complete, and have been submitted to the U.S. Forest Service for review. The USFS will complete a cultural review, and get it back to him by that week or the next. The next step will be to submit the plans to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for wage setting. Faddis hopes to get that back from CDBG by May 17, at which time he will set out the project for bids. Faddis wants to meet with the potential bidders at a May 25 pre-bid conference, at which time he and the bidders will physically inspect the site. And then on June 7, the council would open the bids at the regularly scheduled council meeting.