What is Public Power?
More than 2,000 cities and towns in the United States light up their homes, businesses and streets with “public power” -electricity that comes from a community-owned and operated utility.
Public power utilities are like our public schools and libraries: a division of local government, owned by the community, run by boards of local officials accountable to the citizens. Most public power utilities are owned by cities and towns, but many are owned by counties, public utility districts and even states.
While each public power utility is different, reflecting its hometown characteristics and values, all have a common purpose: providing customers in the community with safe, reliable, not-for-profit electricity at a reasonable price while protecting the environment.
Public power today is an important contemporary American institution. From small towns to big cities, wherever public power exists, it is an expression of the American ideal of local people working together to meet local needs. It is a manifestation of local control.
More than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities server more than 48 million people.
Officially designated as the Fort Clara Power Station, this 3.7 million dollar addition to Santa Clara’s power resources will enable the city to distribute more power to residents, and it will position them for greater power advantages as growth expands. Principally, the new power generation system will make it possible for the city to assure adequate power during peak times of consumption and in case of a power emergency. It also will minimize the need for expensive power purchases on the open market and provide opportunity for generating power for market sales.
The 10,800 square foot power station will begin operation with two two-mega-watt generators and the space to increase that number to six two-mega-watt generators as the need arises. The generators will be powered by natural gas, keeping costs down and emissions at low levels.
The radial arm transmission design of the transmission system the generators are connected to provides redundancy and increases reliability of power for users.
The power station is financed with a 20-year term tax-exempt bond.
The facility has the capability of housing four more generators.