City passes resolution for new power contract

Thursday, April 5, 2007

In a special called meeting on Wednesday, March 28, The Piggott City Council passed a resolution to approve and authorize a new power contract with SPA. Mayor Gerald Morris then signed the resolution.

The contract changes the methods of operation with West-Star, a large corporation which has power, but also purchases and sells power and transmission of power for companies.

"The contract is a result of SPA telling us a while back," said Morris, "that they will not longer offer scheduling and power purchasing in the future."

"As a result of that," Morris continued, "West-Star was contracted to provide those services."

The contract is actually between the ARKMO power coalition. The coalition consists of the cities of Piggott, Malden, Poplar Bluff, Paragould and Jonesboro. SPA has arranged it so that all of the towns will be electrically equivalent.

"If we need power," said Morris, "one of the others in the coalition can turn on generators to give the energy to Piggott." Morris said because of the coalition, transmission wouldn't have to be arranged because all the coalition members are hooked together.

"West-Star will be in a position to aid us should we need to sell or buy power," said Morris. He said that would be important when the Plum Point coal plant comes online in 2010.

"West-Star is a very reputable company," said Morris. "The city of Jonesboro utility company has been doing business with West-Star because they had already become large enough that they needed something bigger."

Morris said that West-Star has a track record with someone in organization, noting that Jonesboro has been very happy with them.

"I feel we're very fortunate to be able to hook up with larger towns in the ARKMO Coalition," said Morris. "We're really a small town and we will benefit greatly from this."

Morris said the coalition will be treated as one unit in buying and selling as the need arises. West-Star will then break out the individual percentages and allocate to each city accordingly.

The new contract is scheduled to be signed on April 4 at City Hall.

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