McPherson Board of Public Utilities General Manager Tim Maier explained to the McPherson City Commission Monday why McPherson's power generating equipment is getting used more often.
Maier said, "Last year in March, the Southwest Power Pool, which is a group that controls the electric utilities in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, part of Missouri and a little bit of Texas, last year they went to what is called the integrated market."
All power generation within the Southwest Power Pool is now dispatched out of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Maier said, "We have seen increased run times because of that."
Westar bids in the cost of BPU's power generation, and the dispatchers tell BPU when to start and stop the machines.
For the first three months of 2015, there were fourteen starts on unit number 1 at plant 2.
Maier said, "Last year we had three, and those three probably would have been tests."
Gas turbine two, which only burns number two diesel, so it is very expensive to run, only has been started once, last year was three times.
Gas turbine number three, which is currently being overhauled due to mechanical issues, has been worked more than normal.
Maier said, "This year, we've put 15 starts on it. Last year it was four."
Also started more often is the newest generation unit for the BPU, the one at plant three.
Maier said, "We've started it eighteen times, last year it was four."
Maier is interested to see where the generation equipment is at once they can make a full year to full year comparison.