Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Year-long generator project 100% complete


September 27, 2018

The new generator has been tested and is functioning well, Superintendent Harlan Schmeling reported to the Moose Lake Power Commission on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The year-long project is 100 percent complete.

However, windows in the power plant building have to be replaced with louvers for the generator to draw enough cool, outside air when it is running. The cost of the project was quoted at $40,663.

The cost of the change order brings the total generator installation cost up to $601,998.50.

That’s under budget, it was said at the meeting. The budget had been $2.5 million for the removal of two old engines, remodel the building, purchase of a used generator and installation of the generator.

Demolition work began the week of Oct. 16 last year, and the new generator was installed in May this year. Demolition costs were also part of the total $2.5 million project cost.

The estimated demolition costs included disposal of the old generators. However, the demolition contractor planned to use the old generators elsewhere.

“That was a big thing,” said Commissioner Curt Yort. “That meant that we didn’t have to pay $200,000 to dispose of the old engines.”

The cost to remove the windows and install the louvers was approved.

The generator will be used in the event of a power failure from Great River Energy, the current power supplier to the city, or AEP, the power supplier to the city starting in 2019.

The attorneys for both Moose Lake Power and Tanalus, the company that will furnish new meters, are reviewing the agreement between the two entities. Once the attorneys approve the agreement, the new meters can be installed on homes and businesses in the Moose Lake Power service area.

The meters will be read automatically. Presently, a lineman has to drive throughout the area and read the meters with a handheld device.

There was also discussion about repairing the Skidsteer that the power company currently owns at the estimated cost of $7,300 or replacing it at an estimated cost of $20,000. It is not on the list to replace it until 2022, it was said.

Schmeling said the Skidsteer is used as a trencher, a forklift and for mowing rights of way.

“It has rubber tracks and is lightweight enough to float over swamps,” he said.

A motion was passed to repair the machine.

The commission also discussed an agreement with Great River Energy for using GRE’s transmission lines within the city starting next year, when power is purchased from AEP.

It was said that a consultant may be hired to advise the commission. It is expected that the process will be complicated and take three months to complete.

It could also be an expensive process. It was decided to check with another city that used the services of the consultant to get a better idea of the project cost.

The next meeting of the commission was set for Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m.


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