Plainview’s electrical system is municipally owned and operated. Currently the system serves 600 residential meters and 100 commercial. It is the lifeblood of City operations. In 1910, the City of Plainview built a generating plant and a distribution system to serve the downtown area. All electricity was generated with gasoline and at 10 PM the lights went out. In 1911 the plant was expanded as the demand for electricity increased. In 1927 the plant was enlarged and included water balance tanks and ice making capabilities. In the 1930’s the plant was converted over to diesel generators and remains that way today. There are four engines in the plant. A Superior 8 cylinder diesel installed in 1949 with a capacity of 1100 Kw. A Superior 6 cylinder diesel installed in 1957 with a capacity of 900 Kw. Another Superior 8 cylinder diesel was added in 1962 with a capacity of 1250 Kw. In 1999 a Caterpillar diesel was added to increase plant capacity for the first time in nearly 30 years. It is a V-16 diesel and is the workhorse of the fleet, producing 2000 Kw and 2628 horsepower. The total plant capacity is 5250 Kw and the current load high for Plainview is about 3400 Kw. Some excess energy will be sold to help pay the expenses on the new engine this summer.
In 1915, electric sales in Plainview totaled some $5500 and the total kWh sold was 50,000. In 1999 over 11,000,000 kWh were sold at a rate equal to 64% of the 1915 rate and total sales exceeded $750,000. Plainview City employees stand by for electric generation in the event of a storm or other problem with the statewide system. Plainview bought electric energy on the open market from the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, Nebraska Public Power District and Western Area Power Authority for multiple years. In 2004 we started a long term contract with MEAN. The reason for the switch was done so the citizens of Plainview would not have to pay for the high prices out on the market during these volatile times. The City is dedicated to provide reliable, low cost electric energy to its citizens.
With electric energy so vital to Plainview, consider using electricity to heat your home. The all-electric heat rate in Plainview is one of the lowest in Nebraska! We also offer rebates for new electric heat pumps, and electric furnaces stop in and inquire.
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