The City of San Saba electric utility recently found a way to reduce potential landfill waste while also saving the city thousands of dollars. Specifically, the city electric utility re-used concrete poles for a new electric distribution circuit.
The city had ordered six 45 foot-high concrete poles for a new electric line before Hurricane Ike struck the Texas Gulf Coast last fall. Following the disaster, suppliers had to prioritize hurricane recovery efforts and anticipated an eight to 10 week delay in delivering the supplies.
As it turned out, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation, a nonprofit transmission corporation owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority, was upgrading an electric substation south of Austin and was removing concrete poles that it could not use in the project. LCRA-Transmission Services offered to provide poles for the San Saba project. The city would need to pay to saw the poles to meet required engineering specifications and to deliver them to the project.
This team effort resulted in over $28,000 in savings to the City of San Saba, and the project was finished ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, LCRA TSC did not need to dispose of the poles.
City of San Saba Electrical Supervisor Roger Verette said, “If it were not for the LCRA, we would still be waiting to complete this line because the poles would not have been delivered. Furthermore, our citizens need to know that we are always looking for innovative ways to improve the electric system rather than simply raising electric rates.”