Hastings Utilities’ Integrated Resource Planning committee continues to evaluate the city’s power supply options and needs.

Keith Leonhardt, director of capital management for the city utility department, along with Utility Manager Kevin Johnson, provided members of the Hastings Utility Board with an IRP update during the board’s regular meeting on Thursday.

“The committee believes that we need some more assistance and are evaluating a couple of other power supply options, also looking at different locations,” Leonhardt said. “Those options are gas turbines and reciprocating engines.”

In addition to Leonhardt, other IRP committee members include Derek Zeisler, director of administration; Rich Kleinhample, director of electric production; Shane Stone, operation supervisor; Brett Thompson, a member of the engineering department; and Lee Vrooman, the city’s director of engineering.

Since the last meeting, the committee has prepared a specification and taken proposals from engineering companies, hiring Stanley Consultants.

“This will help us evaluate capital costs, and we are asking them to look at the three different sites, Whelan Energy Center, North Denver and Don Henry,” Leonhardt said, referring to the city’s existing power plant sites. “They will be starting our work next Tuesday. They will be onsite here in Hastings. Their work is expected to be completed June 11, and this will match up well with our budget deliberations.”

At this time the utility department is evaluating all of its existing sources of energy.

Johnson said discussions have occurred about expanding the solar farm with new technology.

“All of this is why it is taking a while,” he said.”I haven’t put any time frame pressure on our guys. We need to be able to put appropriate dollars in the budget when the time comes, but we want to be very through, very meticulous putting all of this together.

“It is time-consuming. There are very critical variables and a lot of critical options. And it is not just an economic option, it’s economics with long-term considerations.”

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