Algona Municipal Utilities ("AMU") owns 18,900 KW (2.937%) of undivided interest in the George Neal Generating Plant, Unit 4 (“Neal 4”) located near Sioux City, Iowa and operated by MidAmerican Energy. In addition, AMU also maintains electric generating units with 16,100 dependable KW at the plant located in Algona. Finally, AMU jointly owns 3 Zond 750 KW wind turbines at the wind farm located just southeast of Algona. The wind farm known as the Iowa Distributed Wind Generation Project (“IDWGP”) has a nameplate capacity of 2,250 KW. AMU operates the wind farm and owns 250 KW (11.11%) of undivided interest in IDWGP and purchases all of the electricity generated from the project. The electricity generated from the IDWGP accounts for over 4% of all energy consumed in Algona - enough to provide power for over 600 homes in Algona. AMU's peak customer demand to date reached 24,950 KW in 2012. Consistent with the need to invest for the future energy needs of Algona, combined with growth and aging infrastructure, AMU continues to look for new diversified generation projects.
In late 2008, AMU entered into an agreement with the North Iowa Municipal Electric Cooperative Association (“NIMECA”) and subsequently became a member of NIMECA. The association with NIMECA allows AMU to share resources with other municipal electric utility members of NIMECA helping to mitigate risks and diversify supply by spreading energy over multiple generation units and purchased power contracts. The NIMECA arrangement helps reduce purchases of energy from an unknown and volatile energy market, accommodate temporary outages and enhance reliability. AMU, as a member of NIMECA, became a Class B member of Basin Electric Power Cooperative (“Basin Electric”) for generation, transmission dispatching, and supplemental energy sales and purchases along with ancillary services. Currently, AMU sells excess power to Basin Electric on a short term basis through NIMECA and also purchases supplemental power from Basin Electric through NIMECA.
AMU through it's membership in NIMECA has entered into a power purchase agreement dated December 15, 2010, and extending for 40 years. Under the agreement, NIMECA, on behalf of its municipal members including the Issuer, purchases an amount of capacity and energy out of the Whelan Unit 2 generating facility located near Hastings, Nebraska, owned by Heartland Consumers Power District. Under the purchase power agreement, NIMECA and its municipal members receive 3 MW of capacity escalating to 20 MW by 2019.
At one time, a crew of 11 employees was needed to operate the AMU power plant, Today, six employees work at the plant, working around-the-clock. However, with the primary use of Neal 4 power instead of running the local engines, employees focus on troubleshooting and monitoring the water, electric, and communications utility systems.
Did you know?
- One of Algona’s first 200 horsepower engines, purchased in 1917, was sold to a Cuban sugar mill in 1938. When the power plant was moved to its new location in 1942, two used diesel units were sold to the Army and shipped to Hawaii for the war efforts.
- The engineers who conducted the study of Algona’s new power plant proposed three sites other than the current location. They were the northeast corner of Central Park; an area at the corner of Phillips and Kennedy Streets near the present site of Lucia Wallace School; and an area at the corner of Phillips and South Streets near the current Fast Oil and Daily Grind businesses.
"When I started, the load peaked around 1,800 kilowatts; when I left it was 18,000. It kind of tells you something about the growth of electricity in Algona."
- Milo Kollasch, power plant superintendent from 1956 to 1993.