FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s cogeneration plant needs repairs that could cost between $730,000 and $1.2 million.
The plant provides power, heating and cooling to downtown county buildings. One of three engines has failed three times since a November 2011 overhaul, a county report said. The engine is to be brought to the Waukesha factory in New Mexico to be disassembled for testing and repair.
Solano County will get money for the repairs from the $7.5 million deferred maintenance fund. A portion of the costs could be paid by insurance, a county report said.
The county Board of Supervisors approved spending the money Tuesday.
Solano County built a 1.4-megawatt cogeneration plant in 1989 for $7.5 million. It expanded the plant in 2005 at a cost of $14 million when it built the county Government Center. The bigger plant generates 3 megawatts.
One goal was to save money on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. costs. The expanded plant would cost the county an estimated $24.9 million over 20 years, including operation and maintenance costs, a decade-old county report said. But not expanding the plant could cost the county $29.1 million over the same period, it said.
The concerns remain similar today. Failing to repair the engine puts an additional burden on the two remaining engines. The county will continue to pay higher costs for power provided by PG&E during peak period, a county report said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.