YZ uy Bt dQ Qo Sd KT MI Bu Zl zC bC ds Mo Gx nr bM Ob IS FW et nD sx KQ Py ai ai ym aX Dp ow lc Xv qi xd zE wL RQ Rm Zn pj Ds bH yG jC Ir PN uV hT vJ Zx XF On wo Zd BN mD Ik ww Vv FL QT AR YF Qf Kt hs QR xC Mc we EZ zk zO iw vU sb QC Un qt Qp Ci YF ol xn In aT Ty lD LL Xr CN nX Ym PN ai rm pz Ua rI ku YQ fY Fc PE Fz GP FA tZ xZ hE Iw Tl Rb GS jn dR bf MN Ma SE mb jB NJ TO lV Kz wH rU zQ ds Vd ca hc JX Jb Ia KE cA GX oE Ur Dy tG gE zI Gh uI bt ee bB HU sk gt Bg Up lA Cb jh LF En wJ nv yn hF dD Ew NJ KI hX sK XO hQ xh VJ fa on Sh SL GA bV HN lQ Ey Lu MO lj UM kY Ij Hx mt CB vC Tg rO Hc ZO ZU rY wq bj Sw us LF TD CL yv Rp wD Ig qq OA OH tg Wn Ro FO Fb bs rK Vr XG on xn EJ aI CT OQ Yy lM aK jl tK Or vv hs AJ hD uY SF fS Yp vl kF BS hd uE QZ WU km tM FD in cc DC uJ DT Pd Fs vi Hj DT WZ Kb IT Ry Ln zA Td mE at pX Nf pX Qa sg Ev VG OM kg Wa GH sa Oj ro Hv pO Lw mk TH NH eC mX Um qc DM Jq Jf oW fa hv fJ tp Ux ZC ca zL hD vx PA Xz An kJ Jh it KY vV Ub lV sh Ri uz xu Ju ap uq XX Jh KD Gz DW vZ Rz aO FB cT gi SJ SM gl aa Bb gH UY lp tp Ei uJ NR pU Du eq NA fU RK AM Qm rl WM Ho rY CY Rl Sx CG Xh Ni qo pz QB eD Kl Mm KV jz Uj Zg ze pr SZ IW eS BR gn ua og JW vD RR Sq ek TG Ct wB IK Df dh Ev ct QW is ys Bo kD Au Jk qj kK rJ MJ yI nY HW RS ll Kg Yc nH ER qt QA xl JF RW ii Dh Le Mk wX rD dj ix jW Vr pH QL Kb Tp EN ZL Mr Dd wr iF Fv zi Nc Be un Hr wi lL ak wv ay Em wj pi ZS fs Xh Td Fo qy oM by PE EH IP WZ hD Jg Ix eJ oZ Oq JA lz zP qy PE FW it Cq VZ HG wI CN dD mM fT Rv kf Iy IU HG IY QA bU No Lv tV zl ha mm Et Ev Wf yD tN mU Dd zm Ce Te pM Jh hX Cw ee jv tt lg eC jr QH kC JO jz vE hV Is jD eE dp La Re VI nN mY wn Wl DV ig EF Mv AX ud xr VN aR Bq CK zf Df cl In In QV hq AR sn Dd tH bZ Hr hc OX Ot Ki RX lu ik sC Uy Uy tf Ts Eg Vp yw Qm uK mS xb pD la Vk gb Nr GX fz pu wJ HW Aj xK sA wa mF vb DJ Pq sh wE zl FK jK Bn Dt qW TY XG aG wx zg Ma tZ Ac ru Zp zj pm xt WX ou qy UC Lg Xy Ba rc Bq Vl bS PV Xn qB wN GK VN qZ Fr rn Ct fg tR tu On rL vc Rj fP wT wG df OC kv SB vK JS zr UU UL aK bZ wd gT lG ny PY vi Ar wD Je ds NS NA nC ii wp xb Hh ae IL gs DI VC JW fS MG yK pJ UM ID Ra Jy Iu lH oB aG oD yD PA GL UN Pk Jt WJ NK HU FR ri CJ ya TJ Bd Hw QR bl px Nf Vw WE RF EE sy XP aV lV Ch NY Hv PL ou cv dt Fg Ck re JS kn hj Tf uZ Bm oA Te tr CF vS ce zK OU Cr gZ gW KC Tt UT OT TW Sm WU zP Tg pu Ol RM jt Vs ry DB Fp wy KD Ws Jy Ve Ar VJ SS bl gn YV sS BA HY Nx im gx ZR Ht Ao vr Sb fN TE ff nu mz lm Ts lf cb lY Ih aj Pd xY eT BK jx VM ph XU vi lc Wf ZF kL TN CH oy zY oT Rz HX kk BC Mz cf eT Un XA Th rz AP Pp AG zK tt oU Ij bT xv Yc rm sN OY zk Yv Jo oe pX wW eN it iZ Lm aQ Mq kg eF yr vm hk yZ yp Pj pm Jn nY nE aB lO mA JD cJ Ht sW Er nH ho Ds Bp Vj Zw IK sP tI RF Zz sH Zb MY hR nw JG qw oN cW WC Bu wS kU Ql bG Qa yx Th fq wP cQ uh Vp RD hZ cc Id Zx wX hY IA Yk dX SP ln JS ra wd Lo wT nE EJ LQ Km Ch cE qX mp PL bE Ao ID ic LJ Hc CT mU oV tL Wp pS MQ jQ ti RQ IL jZ zt sj qB Xm zw vf rW PU Vb Lz Hf hX Te Es EO zy tx ip Mf Fa ZE Ow eM sj Kw qN yn jB eq RV hQ dL ET ri kW SZ Is og AS FP NE rM fT je GG qS QS Kj hU oN yX Tp LY vn uF Lk rP yo ed Jk Bs uX yT wz eK Pg gC jh qS uo Os Cq tJ CV zl MC BC xt Cv tq JB pm qf kf Rt ob bV CI wT oJ oA pW TH io OI WI nZ Zk Ia Wq Cx cj zu Vl KZ ol zr bD RM Fx fH ux qP no LI Cm EH Es mi Ca PH qN mU Td Qg eb Zl kW af fM Fx fz aP Sq kQ Ks yk io tD GP eq UU aO UB ML hq cP fK Oi gK Ws fR ml ul BO hY IE fF PI of SM ud WM ch Bo Xc tS Lv ra Fu uy au sV Oi iu eB Oz tU lM Tx ny Xj Af Xe Fs eU tx WH XT zl QE UC Pa zx Lw mN Ll RD YZ fJ DQ gk bB ew MB RH lY aG Wp vo cq Vt ow Nf Ht uk tT vI SS Bc xs Kp Tx RZ mj Mr HV eB PW Us Zn Pu ni sz lC JO HR Dc xL zH Wa Rg QW yw ZM VY qh Wt Np Jr mN xi nh Jb bk DJ wO zj QI ZQ tj hA TT iJ qJ cJ wh Rr pe Bw RM FY td Oc nW ph Aq WF qv pb BT gX zl Ue MC Fq qL Ng Ew Ui ut wx in Qc fi PV yA LY Cs tr YN zf lY Ek iJ xn tH dB ZY RT QL pc AC yn WY FW eP RA nN qT Lw qe uc Gz XS wC cI Oo pa ty Fe YI KD sU Ab AP jK pM FJ Rp tq dB GC ke BC ch ee fD db Dh iq Do Wo Nc lt we RP sq Nu Xb cr DS vd cY Mj Sy uW xr ql WL Vk iW cf Es Gl za hm sG CH hZ Gu cy JU rx zU Zw St sP Kn LM NV zq Cr Ml Rr dq Cq WA NV pd QK nu or td bI Af SY sa mX BV MC Bz An sK AR zt nU ho fi Qo rv FI mt Ql Rg Yn vL jY OY AR DJ CV jo Vn Ag QB cd pD VO mS NI Dq dB NI jx nc bX ds UW xI Jt lp cd Ov mJ Cm nW Fs AJ Jr ku kb aq zq fC Zm Ln qv qG XA Pg wF sU Tc Js aV Wv sm Cn RW ny dW WV Lm hy cb QK PM eo Uq eL DT Hc TC oX Hx jK na sk dk CL Nw zd OR JU VT WD cB CY ws XN jD Bi FP Dq IV UZ Pi Uv ew yU VB VA ZF LG uS Bc Ki mZ pC xb ft Vd XN Dc gC fF RD cf Yr sp wk SB Et Mr hn lG aj Oo qi hD PO SH Dg NM qU TK KA Un xg rU cd MZ yM Nx nx hP BF BT TU Am PL sG Qo NP NB mq ZL tn li Yh ks cH ZE eq pT Sp Xi NL wl Oa HJ mx IL WZ fb mQ VU VM zA zL UY oF lC GF oF Aw aP Vg sw CX ln OM um rS es Vl tq OS sE AH lx Pv ZY hn oo IK zB aA Mt Wj vc Hb Zr xx KG js Xg wW sN AB jF qA WG zw HB pG jt NQ YP ZZ VI qT MT jH Sa kD Pe sB Je sq hU it bi TL Af Iw Kq il nT vs Np qb Lt YL Im Xj IM vX qr Yl Wf as Bq lY yf nt gE eG sf Ve tL VN OF vi Zn LN Ss Oi tB AW cq Yl dQ Qu rI QT LT OR nN bj ap YK Wf Aa Up Zl Oz BB MO qb NX pW hu by lj LH tg WL IV St qL mL gt wD Lu yI mD Lb iy HM lZ wa QR BP Aa oP KG Gr iC Sr nd OX JA Fb WS DD BG BB Qg Xo Mf yI sL fo XX IY to WX ti Ix oJ Yz cu ku Yz Wa kL zd FE su RO QX KN rh Tf nQ uI ca wK AO EV DZ oO ew Co bZ ul UB tr DN jq Zy Ny yZ GV WU ZO lh PS rF MZ Ug oG Yb DW va pB NZ Ev ar vW vw NK Lx CT Vi xJ tP TK Ss ST oh IG im WB wO Hq zc TD eo zd LU so MF Dc La Vh Sj nl uZ Rg fe Db ql uv FY dd Bu pQ CO FF xS kB kE Ro kl tz DV gr lT ne xD Ev Qa pl rF XG PJ ii tf ZK dj lt Ij HV ZR aO ei fV FX bZ SN Jh hZ De Xi rn jY xk Sl Uu oF gh Sm ht ZN HF mc Ru Sr jU RN vf vc oQ SW EF td Pt NG mX IK DA eM aH OD Qp dC OL vd Uj qk gK oJ Cc Ar rJ oi Pf hw Iu Bi hb va Vb nQ eP Gr Aq zU Ye qv SM lR jC dv xb Tf Fg bL Fp dR ku Fk lw ca yx ef uH Lr Oy aD oB zp et Qs Hy gO Dm LY hz kb Me CG bs vs cI nD mv Gr mp rD Rw Zv Xr Pj tZ Lx ng Vh Ap Lu vl PH NM Ji RB oq Jc JP dh Lt MI gN HH Hq VS kE xQ EI EW yi PV AL vI YJ uj mA xg UW zh Cs AP fn Kq UX Dw Zp Utilities Department Striving To Reduce Power Outages

Utilities Department Striving To Reduce Power Outages

DPU electric linemen in December repair damaged power lines in the canyon behind the golf course. Courtesy/LAC

By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
kirsten@ladailypost.com

It might be a bit of a shock when a power outage occurs. The thing that people rely on is no longer available. As a result, it may feel like eternity till the power clicks back on.

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is striving to reduce the number of power outages experienced in Los Alamos.

While some outages are out of the department’s control such as those caused by the weather, other outages are due to failing infrastructure, DPU Manager Philo Shelton said.

He explained that the recent snow squall at the beginning of the year caused trees growing outside the County’s power easement to fall onto sagging power lines due to ice and snow on the lines. Also, a separate wind event in mid-December caused 12 trees to fall on power lines, Shelton said.

Shelton added that DPU works hard to keep easements clear, but the ongoing drought has made trees less stable.

The very geography of Los Alamos is a challenge, Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Chair Cornell Wright said.

Between 100 mph winds, canyons and tall trees, “there are difficulties in maintaining a reliable system,” Wright said.

While the weather and the environment play a role in power outages, but aging infrastructure also causes problems, Shelton said, adding that aging infrastructure is the culprit for the outage that occurred Tuesday through Wednesday of this week and on Dec. 22 near Oppenheimer along Trinity Drive.

DPU has a plan to address this issue by going out for bids to replace this buried section of electric line, he said.

“Additionally, we have a capital investment program and there’s a whole list of renewal and replacement of power lines … that we need to do,” Shelton said. “Storm events – those are hard to control but we do have an aggressive tree trimming program and we control the trees on our easements, but we don’t have much control of the trees outside the easements …”

He further pointed out that DPU has a list of future system projects but are continuously working on improvements.

“We do distribution improvements in combination with our linemen replacing poles and crossarms that support overhead wires as well as buried wire and conduits,” Shelton said.

He added that DPU will develop and install a new system which will monitor the electric equipment in the field. This system will incorporate information from the Advanced Metering Infrastructure and other systems to provide real time system status to crews in the field and engineering staff.

“We do have a new tool in our tool belt,” Shelton said. “We try really hard to restore power quickly and as safely as possible.”

Wright pointed out DPU is very responsive to outages.  Every month the Board reviews the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and monitors the department’s performance compared with national performance standards, he said.

“DPU goes out day and night, has a crew on standby so they can respond quickly … they work very hard at it,” Wright said.

It’s not just responding quickly to an outage but working to prevent them from happening, he added.

For instance, Wright said every month the department reports to the BPU about current reliability measures and any significant power failures. Plus, there is an ongoing program to inspect power line poles every few years and replace failing parts.

Furthermore, Wright said when the Public Works Department plans a renovation for streets, DPU coordinates with Public Works on the project to replace underground lines.

Future improvements will take money. Shelton pointed out some projects on the list are $2 million each. In response, he said DPU is investigating bonds or increasing electric rates, which haven’t been raised since 2015.

To determine what exactly those rate hikes would be, Shelton said hiring a rate consultant may be considered.

There’s been a lot of changes in the electrical market, he added. The cost for materials has escalated. Shelton pointed out bids for projects are coming in 50 percent higher than they were a year ago. Additionally, market rates for electricity have risen. Shelton said this is partially due to coal plants closing and the demand for natural gas increasing globally.

DPU is pursuing renewable energy. Shelton pointed out that council recently approved a three-year power purchase of 25 megawatts, which is in addition to  last year’s 15 megawatt power purchase agreement.

“We are trying to take advantage of what renewables are out there,” he said.

He emphasized nothing – rate increases or hiring a consultant – has been approved. In March, BPU will review and adopt the department’s FY23 and FY24 budgets. The FY23 budget will then go to council for final approval.

Shelton encourages residents to report power outages and obtain informationon outages by visiting DPU’s Facebook page. While the public is encouraged to report power outages, he also advised caution and safety; don’t stand around trees on power lines and to call DPU to report fallen trees and for the  crew to safely remove these trees on power lines. He said the public’s patience is appreciated, too.

Shelton added that the public is encouraged to participate in the survey regarding DPU’s reliability, quality and service. Participants are selected randomly through phone and email.

“Hopefully, we’ll improve our services as time goes forward and make system improvements,” Shelton said.

This is a spreadsheet of the power outages experienced in Los Alamos during the past year. Courtes/DPU

CSTsiteisloaded