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Light and power report

By Staff | Feb 14, 2008

Six employees focus on work to make certain residents of Estherville have dependable power and light.

Electrical Distribution Superintendent Pete Redinius distributed his 2007 annual departmental report to members of City Council at the Feb. 4 meeting.

The past year work surrounded maintenance and upgrades to ensure the distribution of electrical power to customers.

Underground conversion work was performed along North Seventh Street and North Eighth Street from Fourth Avenue North to 14th Avenue North.

Redinius noted this area had received an upgraded conversion in the past but was still involved an overhead system that had many old poles and tree clearance problems.

His report noted, “Primary cable was buried along both of these streets and tied in with existing underground cabinets and overhead circuits, making this a looped system.”

He said secondary cables were buried to each house and business along with secondary cabinets and ground pad transformers. “Many of the new secondary cables have been hooked up to the homes and businesses, and some of the overhead wires have been removed.”

In addition to Redinius, personnel include Mitch Eveleth, Dennis Lukins, Brad Friesner, Tony Nitchals, Darlowe Voster.

Council members were told poles and overhead wire removal will be ongoing as customers hook up to the new underground system. Redinius stated the department will also be installing new fiberglass poles for street lighting.

The long-range plan of replacing the antiquated overhead system with the underground system will continue.

Moving to the west side of town, another overhead to underground primary conversion was completed in the area of Orchard Lane. Redinius said primary wires and poles serving those residents were replaced with buried primary cables, new ground pad transformers and cabinets. The superintendent said this improvement enhanced serviceability.

Rounding out the other primary underground improvements for 2007 were Rosewood Manor, the shopping plaza and the new addition to Demoney School.

The crew also removed the Civil Defense siren situated near the Maniece School and repositioned it to the water tower site on North 15th Street. The repainted siren was attached to a new pole with new mounting hardware.

Under the miscellaneous category, Redinius reported his department continually inspects line, trims trees and tests meter. They also do high voltage rubber glove/cover up goods testing and truck fiberglass testing.

Outages caused by critters tumbled from nine in 2006 to five in 2007. “We always try to make our poles varmint-proof. But as long as we have an overhead electrical system we will probably be having these types of outages.”

It was noted that underground animals can also cause electrical system outages. “We have made some changes in our relay settings at the power plant which will eliminate some of the long outages caused by this type of electric al interruption.”


In a related report, Bret Mace, power plant foreman shared numbers in his annual report for 2007.

It was noted that the total system kilowatt usage rose one-tenth of a percent from 62,767,310 in 2006 to 62,806,172.

The city experienced peak demand on July 26 at 5 p.m. when 13,140 kilowatts were utilized. The low peak occurred on March 28 at 1 a.m. when kilowatt usage was 3,310.

Mace listed plant improvement completed by plant personnel as follows:

n Stripped, painted and rewaxed plant floor.

n Assisted in repairing Unit 5 outboard bearing.

n Repaired lawn after wastewater main was replaced.

n Replaced relays on three feeder switchgear because of recall.

n Assisted with the dismantling of Unit 5 for inspection.

Personnel include Bill Olesen and Dale Bradley.

Work completed by others included:

n Tested and calibrated switchgear relays.

n Replaced a 400 amp fuse panel.

n Assisted in repairing Unit 5 outboard bearing.

n Moved valves on four units.

n Installed new trolley on bridge crane.

n Calibrated relays on three feeder switchgear due to recall.

n Assisted with the dismantling of Unit 5 prior to inspection.

n Inspected and reported on Unit 5 repairs.

Mace noted his department spent 220 hours assisting other city departments during 2007.