MEAN completes testing of local generators

September 24, 2017

The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) recently completed its annual testing of local power plants among its long-term power participants.

Formally known as unit capability testing, the process occurs each summer and ensures local generating units remain reliable to serve as part of MEAN’s energy capacity portfolio as well as to serve as backup generating units for each of the respective 19 communities that have their own generating units.

“This year’s testing went extremely well,” said Tim Cerveny, MEAN manager of resources and transmission. “Overall, there was significant improvement in the testing results from the previous year. Credit goes to the local utilities that maintain these units to make sure they remain reliable and part of MEAN’s overall energy capacity.”

Cerveny oversees the testing process, which includes on-site visits to inspect the units and to put them through a testing procedure that includes running the units at full electric load for two hours. Readings from the units are recorded and verified to ensure they meet their specified capacity.

The energy capacity from the units are leased to MEAN as part of MEAN’s Electric Resource Pooling Agreement and make up a small slice of MEAN’s overall diverse power supply.

The power plants typically are in stand-by mode, operating only in emergency situations such as local power outages or to address peak demand or reliability issues as ordered by electric grid operators.