In response to Platte City outages
A targeted tree-trimming effort is underway by Evergy in the Platte City area this week, as the company blames frequent power outages over the past several months on weather events that downed or weakened tree limbs and branches.
“We’ve had a lot of outages the past few years in Platte City. Weather has caused a vast majority of those outages,” says Andrew Baker, an Evergy spokesperson.
Evergy officials said multiple crews have been brought in this week to the Platte City area to trim trees near lines in what the company calls a “ramping up” of the vegetation-clearing effort.
“We’ve brought in crews from surrounding areas to assist with this,’ Baker told The Landmark on Monday afternoon.
Two tree crews were working in the downtown Platte City area Monday afternoon. Crews could be seen in the alleyway on the north side of the 200 block of Main Street that afternoon.
Expect to see tree trimming crews in the Platte City area throughout the week, officials indicated.
In addition to tree trimming, Evergy acknowledged in a previous Landmark article that it is planning infrastructure improvements in the Platte City area that they say should help with reliability of electrical service.
Some businesses and residential customers of Evergy in the older areas of Platte City have complained of four power outages lasting at least eight hours over roughly the past six months.
City of Platte City and elected Platte County officials have complained about the outages as well. Outages in the downtown business district also knock out power in City Hall and the county courthouse and administrative complex.
Baker said Evergy has plans to “extend circuits and upgrade lines” in Platte City, which will make it easier to re-route power when a line gets damaged.
Baker said Evergy is “appreciative of the communication we are getting from the city and the county.”
Gina Penzig, manager of external communications for Evergy, recently told The Landmark:
“Our future infrastructure investment planned over the next 2-4 years includes improvements to the substation near Shiloh Springs Golf Course and adding a connection to a substation near Weston. These improvements will improve the reliability and capacity of electricity for the city,” Penzig said in an email response to a recent Landmark question.
Penzig said the substation at Shiloh Springs already “has two transformers to help support reliability.”
As reported recently by The Landmark, Penzig confirmed Evergy has been meeting with city and county leaders who expressed concern about electricity reliability for Platte City.
“Providing reliable service to our customers is important to us. Evergy is taking immediate steps to improve reliability and planning infrastructure improvements that will improve long-term reliability, Penzig said in an email response to The Landmark.
Penzig mentioned trees.
“In addition to the emergency tree trimming to restore power after the storm, Evergy’s tree trimming contractor is working on additional clearing of limbs and vegetation away from power lines to reduce outages,” she said.
In one email Penzig said the substation structure near the orange water tower was not the source of the problems, but in that same email said reclosers at that substation “are being upgraded.”
In another email answer to Landmark questions, Penzig explained that “five reclosers on circuits where outages occurred have been upgraded. Reclosers are high-voltage switches that operate similar to a circuit breaker in a home or business and help prevent further damage when a fault occurs.”
Penzig said that “reclosers that required a line crew or troubleshooter to go on-site to reset them have been upgraded for remote operation, which will help get power restored faster.”
Larger projects are also on the horizon, Penzig told The Landmark.
“Larger projects over the next few years will include rebuilding some aging lines and extending new circuits to provide redundancy to the area power grid, which helps support future growth and improve reliability,” she said in a June 21 emailed answer to Landmark questions.
Penzig said substation improvements “will also increase the capacity to meet the growing needs in the area.”