Electric & Hydro Generation Plant
Swanton Electric has been serving its customers since 1894. We serve customers in Swanton Village and parts of Swanton Town, Highgate and St. Albans Town. We are one of 14 municipal electric utilities in Vermont. Swanton Electric has some of the lowest rates in Vermont and has not had a rate increase since 2016. We are proud to serve our customers with 100% renewable electricity.
Swanton Village Electric is in compliance with the RES. To learn more, visit: Renewable Energy Standard – VPPSA
The Swanton Village Electric Department, along with members from Enosburg Water and Light, joined forces on the final touches of a Grid resiliency project on Rollo Road. This is traditionally one of the first areas impacted by high winds and icing, because that section of the line goes cross country. Swanton Village Electric has moved a significant portion of that line into the road right of way. According to Swanton Village Electric Supervisor Duane Couture, “That area has been a problem spot for our organization for years. Swanton Village Electric is constantly looking for ways to increase Grid resiliency, and this is one example where we will be able to enhance deliverables to our customers. Swanton Village Electric deeply appreciates our partnership with Enosburg Water and Light.”
You may have noticed the Village Electric Department working on Church Street on Wednesday, October 25th. The crew spent the morning working near the Swanton School Apartments to relocate 3 transformers from overburdened poles to a ground mount. This is a great aesthetic improvement by eliminating equipment and lines overhead, but more importantly, it is a step forward in improved resiliency. Equipment on poles is vulnerable to storm damage from trees, ice and vehicles. The new location of the transformers is safely underground, significantly reducing the likelihood of outages.
W. Scott Mueller Hydroelectric Internship
A Collaborative Success Story
HYDRO POWER PLANT OPERATOR/INTERN
The W. Scott Mueller Hydroelectric Internship was created in memory of W Scott Mueller. Scott worked for the Village of Swanton for 8 years and his presence is greatly missed. He was our Hydro Plant Supervisor and head of the maintenance department. In January 2023, the Village was contacted by our attorney, Paul Nolan, who worked with Scott on several Federal Energy Regulatory Commission projects at our Hydro facility. He has graciously provided the Village with a check for $2500 for the initiation of a summer internship program for the operation and maintenance of our hydroelectric plant. He wanted this to honor W. Scott Mueller in recognition of his exceptional expertise and service to the Village and the hydro community at large. The Village Trustees graciously authorized $5000 to help create this internship program, for a total of $7500.
In the Spring of 2023 the Village of Swanton, in collaboration with Missisquoi Valley Union High School, interviewed interested candidates. MVUHS Senior Dalton LaPlant was selected for this position. According to Hydroelectric Supervisor Dan Chevalier “Dalton was an exceptional intern, always engaged in the day-to-day activities at the plant. Dalton was a great worker, who asked appropriate questions and by the end of the internship, was able to complete many plant related job responsibilities. Dalton will be a model for future interns to emulate.”
We have a commitment from Paul Nolan and from the Village Trustees to continue this internship and partnership with MVUHS. According to Missisquoi Valley Union High School Principal Dan Palmer, “we value our partnership with The Village of Swanton. Part of our mission is to provide opportunities for students to go into high paying, high interest local positions. Our partnership with Swanton Village helps to fulfill our mission and provide students with opportunities to follow this career path. Swanton Village has many opportunities for students and working together we can pair interested students with these positions.”
Our scholarship recipient Dalton LaPlant enjoyed the experience, stating “I am incredibly grateful for the time I was able to spend working for Swanton Village. I enjoyed my time at the Village because I was able to learn new things through hands-on experiences. It also felt good to know that the work I was doing mattered to the community. During my internship at the Hydroelectric Plant, I learned the process of making electricity. This included working generators, filing paperwork, data tracking, maintenance requirements, and a variety of other things. All skills that I didn’t know how to do prior but quickly picked up from the people I worked with! I was also allowed to shadow many other departments in the Village. Some of which I was not aware of a small village had and oversaw, such as the Wastewater Plant, Water Plant, Electric, and Public Works. Seeing many distinct types of jobs helped me gain more knowledge about what I want my future career to look like. Not only did I enjoy the work I was doing for the Village, but I also built a network. My boss at the Hydroelectric Plant has already let me know he would be happy to give recommendations for any future paths I choose to pursue. The skills I learned and the people I met during this time will stick with me for the rest of my life.”
We look forward to this continued partnership and will be conducting interviews in the winter or early spring of 2024 for next year’s internship.
5 hydroelectric generators with the following characteristics as a combined operating system:
Production: 11.964 Megawatts.
Annual Production: 55,382 MWH.
Water Flow: 1800 cubic feet of water per second.
Head Water Elevation: 190 feet above sea level.
Tailwater Elevation: 105 feet above sea level.
Individual Generating Units:
Unit # 1: General Electric AC Generator installed in 1930. Excitation is provided by a Basler static exciter. Voltage: 7200 volts, Speed: 360 revolutions per minute, Cycles: 60hz., Phase: 3,Power Factor: 0.8, Production: 1,170 Kilowatts. The Turbine unit is a Francais type, Rated Horsepower: 1,340 hp, Discharge: 224 cubic feet of water per second.
Unit # 2: Westinghouse AC Generator installed in 1928. Excitation is provided by a Basler static exciter.
Voltage: 7200 volts, Speed: 360 revolutions per minute,
Cycles: 60 hz., Phase: 3,Power Factor: 0.8, Production: 1,012 Kilowatts. The Turbine unit is a Francais type,
Rated Horsepower: 1,340 hp, Discharge: 224 cubic feet of water per second.
Unit # 3: Westinghouse AC Generator installed in 1954. Excitation is provided by a Basler static exciter.
Voltage: 7200 volts, Speed: 257 revolutions per minute,
Cycles: 60 hz., Phase: 3, Power Factor: 0.8, Production: 3,500 Kilowatts. The Turbine unit is a Francais type,
Rated Horsepower: 4,070 hp, Discharge: 558 cubic feet of water per second.
Unit # 4: National Industrial AC Generator installed in 1990. Excitation is provided by a Basler static exciter.
Voltage: 7200 volts, Speed: 211.8 revolutions per minute, Cycles: 60hz, Phase: 3, Power Factor: 1.0, Production: 5,850 Kilowatts. The Turbine unit is a Francais type, Rated Horsepower: 7,600 hp, Discharge: 900 cubic feet of water per second.
Unit #5: OSSBERGER turbine, Hitzinger generator: construction and installation into minimum flow building in September 2011, and in production in March 13, 2012. Unit is a horizontal intake, horizontal shaft double cell, cross flow design impulse type turbine, with draft tube effect. Rated at static Head =44.6ft=13.6m. full flow= 200cfs, partial flow= 35cfs. Normal speed 900 rpm with an over speed of 2010 rpm. Tp parent power is 650KVA at full flow with a frequency of 60Hz.
The Hydro Plant shuts down every year and do bearing, governor, wicket gates (which directs the water), turbine, butterfly valve and penstock maintenance and inspections. Crews can enter all areas normally uninhabitable to perform these inspections. No major issues were found this year.