Lebanon improving electrical system to prevent power outages after severe weather

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LEBANON, Ind. (June 8, 2015) – A central Indiana city is working to become more prepared in case severe weather hits. Lebanon officials are investing millions of dollars to improve electrical infrastructure.

The city is working with an engineering firm to finalize plans to add a 69,000 volt energy transmission line. The new line will act as an alternate source for power.

“Currently there are three new energy transmission lines that come in, but they all come into one new transmission substation,” said Jay McCoskey, general manager for Lebanon Utilities. “If somehow or other we would lose that source then Lebanon goes black, we have no backups to feed our substations.”

In 2012, the Lebanon Utility Board, City Council and the Indiana Regulatory Commission approved at $12 million bond to upgrade the city’s electrical system.  McCoskey said severe weather in the past made leaders realize the importance of addressing the infrastructure limitations.

“We had a tornado a couple years ago, which fortunately did minor damage, but it really did raise our awareness,” McCoskey said. “Plus, when this system was built out in the 30s and 40s, people and businesses didn’t have the reliability on power that they do today.”

The city plans to host public meetings to inform residents about the impact of the project and also determine the route for the new line. McCoskey said they expect to have the project done within one year.

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