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The Frankfort Plant Board building (The State Journal archive)

The Frankfort Plant Board welcomed a new member last Wednesday just two days after his appointment was approved by the Frankfort City Commission.

Jason Delambre was sworn in virtually by FPB Chair John Cubine, a process that included swearing to support the national and state constitutions and execute the office to his best ability. It also included Delambre attesting that he had not participated in a duel with deadly weapons.

Delambre replaced Dawn Hale, a previous member of several local boards and commissions who had served as a board director since 2017.

The special meeting took place both to swear Delambre in and to cover an important business item: for the FPB to vote in favor of authorizing the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KYMEA) to execute a purchase power agreement option for 30 megawatt (MW) of power.

KYMEA is FPB's wholesale power supplier, and the municipality is an "all-requirements" member of the KYMEA cooperative.

General Manager Gary Zheng said that the purchase would be from Duke Energy, and that KYMEA is entering into an agreement to reserve that extra energy at a fixed price. That way, he said, KYMEA could purchase that amount at a reasonable price in case of an emergency at the scale of Texas’ winter storm earlier this year.

“The one big concern is that if something like what happened in Texas happened, there could be potentially a lot of market risk,” Zheng said. “This would give us a firm, guaranteed price.”

The Texas storm left San Antonio’s municipal utility with a $1 billion bill due to soaring power prices and spurred demand for electricity to heat homes thanks to an unseasonably rough winter storm.

A power sale agreement (PSA) was approved and executed by KYMEA and Duke Energy already in July, according to KYMEA spokesperson Michelle Hixon.  

“The PSA contained a one-time option to increase the Quantity of Capacity by an additional 30 MWs,” Hixon wrote. “The KYMEA All Requirements Project Committee directed the exercise of this option at its last meeting on Sept. 30.”

Sep. 30 was one day after the board’s Wednesday meeting.

Roughly one year ago, director Kathryn Dutton-Mitchell had made a motion asking that anytime the FPB would change any long-term commitments with KYMEA, that that be brought before the board before staff acted.

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