City Receives Funding For Backup Power
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WATER VALLEY – The City of Water Valley was awarded $367,524 from the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to fund a project for the electric department that will provide a backup source of electricity in case of failure at the city’s main substation. Mayor Donald Gray announced the grant during the October 4 board meeting, but first shared it was a small miracle. The mayor explained he met with DRA officials after the city’s transformer went out back in January.
“She said ‘we never give money to a municipal electric department. That is not what we do,’” Gray explained. Seven months later the announcement came on Sept. 29 that Water Valley was among recipients of $12 million allocated across an eight-state area.
“Folks, Congressman Bennie Thompson and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith pull a lot of weight. And staying in close connection with DRA,” Gray said about the allocation.
Gray said the total cost of the project to install two 10 mega-watt transformers will be over $600,000. The city has also received $500,000 from the State of Mississippi for the electric department, money the mayor said could also used for the project to install two 10 megawatt transformers near Solero. The small substation will be used to feed the entire city if the main substation fails. The power for the emergency substation will flow through Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association’s (TVEPA) substation located west of Water Valley. If the switchover is required, there will be a lapse of power estimated for an hour or longer.
Plans to construct the backup substation were triggered by a January power outage that left the entire city in the dark for almost 15 hours. The outage occurred around 3:30 a.m. on January 11. The city’s electric department crew was assisted by TVEPA and Tennessee Valley Authority to restore much of the city using a backup transformer from TVEPA before nightfall.
The following morning power was fully restored to the city as repairs were made to the city’s main substation.