Power Production and Distribution
Baldwin City Electric Department is made up of two parts - Power Generation and Power Distribution.
Baldwin City was a leader in power production in the early 20th century, and as a result, still maintains control of their own energy production and distribution. The City is a member of Kansas Municipal Energy Association, which is a regional energy cooperative. We purchase power through KMEA for regular everyday power, which includes a varied portfolio of solar energy, wind energy, and more traditional sources. Our power purchases are currently around 60% renewable energy.
There are two power plants in town - the historic one on High Street downtown and the "new" one located at 1015 Orange Street. The new plant came online in 2004. There are a total of five large engines between the two power plants that generate power in case the main feeds fail.
Power Plant Supervisor Jeff Winkler and two employees handle both power plants. In emergency power outages, they work around the clock to keep the lights on in Baldwin City.
Baldwin City's main source of power is a line that comes into town from the East, owned by Evergy. In the event that line goes down for some reason, there is a back up line coming from Ottawa, also owned by Evergy. Both of these lines connect to the Baldwin City power grid at a substation located at Newton and 6th.
Power Distribution is handled by Pat McComb and four employees. Four of the crew are Journeymen Linemen and one is an apprentice. The line crew handle powerlines mostly within city limits, substation maintenance, tree trimming, and meter installations.
Journeymen do a four year apprenticeship, followed by a state certification test. Throughout their career, they must maintain current education.