By Nick Woodruff
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater wants to power up.
The Stillwater Utilities Authority authorized City Manager Dan Galloway on Monday to move forward with ideas of building an electric power generation station.
The station will use natural gas to fuel three engines that would produce 56 megawatts of electricity. It could fire the generators up in five minutes, Stillwater Utilities Authority Director Dan Blakenship said.
The generation station is a by-product of the municipal utility’s Aug. 5 29-year contract with the Grand River Dam Authority. The contract stipulates the power provider will purchase electricity generated by Stillwater. The contract could generate up to $4.5 million annually for the city, which could be used to finance a bond issue to build Stillwater’s generation station, Blankenship said.
Stillwater’s steam-powered generation station at Boomer Lake is antiquated. It takes approximately 8-10 hours to fire its engines to produce electricity. If the city decides to keep the Boomer Lake Station operating, the power provided would pay Stillwater $1.2 million a year.
Blankenship said the costs of the old station have almost exceeded the amount the power provider wants to pay to use the station.
In approximately 60 days, Blankenship will deliver final project cost estimates to the Stillwater Utility Authority.