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In 1903, the Village of Arcadia installed its first steam powered generator at the city’s water pumping station which is the City employees working on overhead electric lineslpresent day Electric Utility office. In 1911, two steam engines with a combined capacity of 150 KW were installed replacing the existing one. The electrical distribution system was also upgraded from Direct Current to Alternating Current at that time. As the city’s population and industrial base grew, so did the need for electricity. In 1927, the innovative plant turned to diesel power. Two Fairbanks Morse engines with a combined capacity of 148 KW were purchased which replaced the steam-powered units. Another diesel was added in 1930 increasing the plant capacity to 384 KW.

In 1939, a major power plant addition was built. This provided much needed space for additional generation. Two older units were moved from their original locations in what is now the Utility Office to the new building.

Arcadia generated 100 percent of its electrical needs until late in 1959. This required additional generation to be added to keep up with load growth. Units were installed in 1935-(150 KW), 1940-(473 KW), 1947-(980 KW) and 1956-(1360 KW). Three steam engines and three diesels have been retired over the years.

By December of 1959, the electrical power needs of Arcadia had grown so fast since the last unit was put on line in 1956 that the local power plant was no longer in a position to meet peak loads if for any reason that generator could not be operated. To ensure that additional electrical power would be available when needed, the city began purchasing power from Trempealeau Electric Cooperative.

In June of 1960, the Arcadia City Council approved the contract, and the cooperative installed approximately $69,000 worth in interconnecting facilities between the city’s power plant and Dairyland Power Cooperative’s 34,500 volt transmission line. Since that time, the power plant has been used for peaking and emergency backup.

The city’s 2400 volt electrical distribution system was upgraded in 1969 to address the increased load. System voltage was increased to 4160 volts and a new generation and feeder switchgear was installed.

In 1972, Arcadia added it’s first generator to be used for standby service. This 3090 KW Cooper Bessemer engine increased total plant capacity to 6143 KW. By the 1980s , the city’s power plant was not capable of supplying all of the electrical needs of it’s customers and was being assessed demand charges each month from it’s supplier. In 1985, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved the city’s application to install additional generation. This action came after and estimate from A-G Cooperative that a one hour power outage would cost the firm as much as $5 million. In 1986, a Fairbanks Morse 3000 KW unit was installed giving the city a more reliable backup and eliminating demand charges. Total plant capacity was increased to 9143 KW with this addition.

A major substation upgrade was done in 1987 to meet the demands of an ever-increasing load. A new substation transformer and related equipment rated at 12470 volts were installed.

Power demands continued and in 1994 another substation project took place with the addition of two transformers. This upgrade brought the total number of transformers in the substation to three, two 69,000/12470 volt and one 12470/4160 volt. These transformers supply the city with power today.

With growing demand charges due to being deficit of generating capacity, another engine project began in 2002. The project started with remodeling of a utility owned building adjacent to the plant. Two Cummins engines were purchased, each producing 2000 KW. Before the completion of this engine installation another Cummins engine was purchased and added to the project. Units #7 & #8 were started up in May and # 9 in December. Several updates to the substation were required at this time also. The individual 12470 volt feeders were upgraded from reclosures to breakers and an automated load shed system was added. This entire project came to an end in 2006 with the purchase of another 2000 KW Cummins engine.

The utility currently owns ten diesel generating sets, two of which are dual fuel units, dating from 2006 to 1930. All of them are in operating condition and generate electricity when called on today. The plants total capacity is just over 17000 KW. City load was 175 KW in 1932 and over 15,000 KW in 2010.

Renewable Energy

30% of the purchased wholesale power that the Arcadia Electric Utility purchase is renewable.  Of that 20% is generated by wind energy and 10%  by solar energy. This lessens the carbon footprint of the City and provides clean energy. The Arcadia Electric Utility encourages the sale of renewable energy blocks to its customers.


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Contact Information

Utility Billing
945 S Dettloff Drive
Phone (608) 323-3359 Ext 13
Fax (608) 323-3242
Brenda Bautch Utility Billing Clerk

Office Hours 8:00 am-4:30 pm

Electric Utility
Tim Putz, Superintendent
115 South Jackson 
Phone (608) 323-7347
Cell (608) 863-0787

Shop Hours 7:00 am-3:30 pm

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