(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / May 8, 2018) — The American Public Power Association recently designated the City of Stillwater Electric Utility a platinum level utility in this year's Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program. Stillwater first achieved gold status in the RP3 program in 2015 – maintaining gold status since that time. This year the utility advanced to platinum status.
Stillwater is one of 254 municipal electric utilities nationwide that hold the designation. Stillwater and Edmond Electric are the only two RP3-designated utilities in Oklahoma.
The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
According to Generation and Transmission Division Superintendent Curt Schmidt, “During the past three years, we reviewed what we were doing and were able to increase our RP3 score in the reliability and safety sections by implementing cyber security policy and awareness, reliability statistic tracking and completing arc hazard assessments. Our employees' commitment to excellence is the key to our electric utility being recognized at the national level.”
“This designation is about more than just reliability. It’s about operational excellence and our commitment to the safety of our employees and service to our customers,” Stillwater Utilities Authority Director and Deputy City Manager Dan Blankenship said. “We are honored to be recognized as a RP3 recipient.”
It’s been a busy three years for the utility. In 2016 it opened the Stillwater Energy Center, which provides 56 megawatts of capacity — more than double the load generated by the old Boomer Lake Station — through the use of three 18 megawatt Wärtsilä reciprocating engines, each capable of coming online and reaching full load within 10 minutes instead of the minimum four hours required by other systems. This flexibility allows the plant to respond to fluctuations in power from renewable resources such as wind and solar.
The utility also recently rolled out an online power outage reporting tool featured on the City of Stillwater’s website. This allows customers to see if there are any power outages and to see updates during the outage.
“There are 2,000 publicly owned utilities, and I’m proud to say we are among the very best,” Blankenship added.
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