Ashland city leaders said the electric future for the city looks bright. “We’re in a very good state for the current electric system,” Mark Holden said. Director of IT and electric utility with the city, Mark Holden, said the city accomplished most of what was on the last ten-year plan. Holden said collecting data and analyzing the current electric system is all part of the plan. “It’s industry-standard practice. You need to look at your electric distribution system to make sure it can be reliably safely operated and provide the needs of the community,” Holden said. Holden said the city partnered with CVO Engineering systems out of Corvallis to analyze and make recommendations for the city’s electrical future. The engineering company identified needs for the city including, improving switches and enhancements on lines to reduce outages, upgrading I-5 crossings to steel poles, replacing old cables and increasing their reliability. “The substation itself, we’re looking at what we need to figure out, is how that might be funded,” Holden said. CVO said purchasing substations could save the city more money by eliminating a delivery charge and transfer agreements, keep city expenses within the local economy and create more options for future power purchases. Holden said the company recommends the city buy at least one of the substations.
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