DME Plans Upgrades to Prevent Rolling Blackouts

Denton Municipal Electric proposes capital improvement program

By Sara Story
|  Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012  |  Updated 5:56 PM CDT
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Denton Municipal Electric says it is in need of new equipment and transmission lines to keep up with the city's growth.

Sara Story, NBC 5 Denton County Reporter

Denton Municipal Electric says it is in need of new equipment and transmission lines to keep up with the city's growth.

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Denton Municipal Electric officials say the utility is in need of improvements to avoid rolling blackouts in the future.

New equipment and transmission lines are part of the customer-owned electric utility's proposed plan to keep up with the city's growth.

"Denton is the seventh-fastest growing city in the nation," DME spokesman Brian Daskam said. "These projects are going to help us be well positioned to meet that growth and the demand that comes with that growth."

DME said it would take $302 million to complete the utility construction projects that are needed over the next five years.

"If we didn't do this, then yes, it would result in something like rolling blackouts," Daskam said.

Daskam said DME wants to remain reliable. If the City Council approves the proposed capital improvement project, old equipment would be replaced and new transmission lines and substations would be constructed. Customers could see a small increase to their monthly bill, he said.

"We are not planning any base-rate increase for next year," Daskam said. "Starting in 2014, we are expecting these projects to impact the average customer's bill less than $3 per month."

DME presented its capital improvement plan to the City Council on Monday. The council is expected to vote on the budget for the project in the next few months.

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