Electric Development Plan Will Give Columbia More Power

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Water and Light is proposing a new electrical circuit to feed more power into central Columbia.

With new construction planned for downtown, some citizens worry the city doesn't have the necessary infrastructure to support the developments

The plans involve sending more power out of the Rebel Hill Substation on St. Charles Road. The plans include building new underground circuits on St. Charles Road, Green Valley Drive, East Broadway, and Conley Avenue. Columbia Water and Light Engineering Supervisor Dan Clark said it also plans to rewire existing circuits downtown.

"The challenge that we have is that we have a lot of load growth in the downtown area," Clark said. "These existing feeders are pretty heavily loaded. Our goal is that we want to be able to recover quickly from an equipment failure on any one of those circuits."

Clark said the city currently runs on 80 percent power capacity, so should a substation fail now, outages would be inevitable. Clark said introducing additional feeders would allow Columbia Water and Light to reconfigure the system quickly in the event of a power failure. 

The department held a public input meeting Thursday evening. It will propose its final plans to the Columbia City Council in June. Should the council approve the plans, Clark said he hopes to begin construction immediately and complete it by the end of the year.