Grayson Power Plant

An employee walks through the Grayson Power Plant on Thursday, December 4, 2008. The City Council approved funds at a recent meeting for repairs to the plant. (File Photo / June 18, 2014)

One of the three units at Grayson Power Plant that burns landfill gas from Scholl Canyon into energy used by Glendale Water & Power customers has been in a constant state of disrepair since a part broke in May, and as a result, the City Council this week approved spending $415,000 to fix it.

Landfill gas is an important part of Glendale Water & Power's renewable energy portfolio. The utility must use 20% renewable energy by state law and ramp that up to 33% by 2020.

The broken unit is just the latest problem Glendale Water & Power has encountered at the aging facility. The broken equipment in Unit 3, installed in 1994, is so old that the manufacturer no longer makes replacement parts and the successor to the original manufacturer does not offer technical support, according to a city report. Power plant officials tried to stave off the expenditure by using a supply of spare parts, but that stockpile has run out.

The two other units that can burn landfill gas, numbers four and five, are also having problems, according to the report. Unit 4 is offline due to lengthy repairs and the other unit was forced offline earlier this month due to an equipment failure, although it has since returned to operation.

The $415,000 repair contract was awarded to Wunderlich-Malec of Minnesota.

For years, city officials have been balancing the need to put money into the plant and the lack of resources to do so as the utility has been struggling to get on solid financial footing. Officials have been deferring some maintenance at the power plant in order to study whether to replace old parts, demolish and rebuild, or do nothing.

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