Marion to join Kansas Power Pool for electrical needs

The Marion City Councilors voted unanimously Monday to join the Kansas Power Pool based in Wichita and pay about $1,120 as part of the one-time payment for a power transmission study.

Information provided by Colin Whitley, KPP general manager, helped the council make a decision after wrestling with the idea for the last several months.

Marion will continue buying power as an independent municipality until July 2010 when Westar Energy?s contract ends.

At that time, the city either needs to renew its contract with Westar or look at other options.

?Joining KPP does not mean we have to purchase power from the pool now,? said David Mayfield, city administrator.

Although July 2010 seems a long way off, Mayfield explained to the council that KPP needs to conduct the study to make sure a member city is approved by its by-laws as well.

?We need to do an analysis of Marion?s costs and the study takes time,? Whitley said.

Another expense to the city will be to supply real time metering at a cost of between $10,000 and $12,000.

Southwest Power Pool, which is a regional transmission organization overseeing the regional electric grid Kansas belongs to, will see Marion?s real time metering and make it available to KPP.

Mayfield said he believes the transmission line is good to the Florence junction, but from that junction to here is where the study will focus on.

Whitley told the councilors that there are 41 KPP members and 28 are taking service.

?The other 13 cities are either waiting on contracts to conclude or decided not to buy power,? he said.

Hillsboro entered into a contract with KPP in October 2007.

The pool has power supply sources with Grand River Dam Authority, Oklahoma Municipal Power, Omaha Public Power District, Kansas Municipal Energy Agency, Southwest Power Administration, Nearman, as well as each of the cities’ own generating resources.

Mutual aide, reserve sharing, networking, cost sharing, equal representation and access to lower costs are only a few of the many benefits of belonging to the pool, Whitley said.

Other highlights from Monday?s Marion City Council meeting are posted at

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