The City of Chanute entered into the electric production business after private enterprises failed in numerous attempts to operate an electric generating plant in Chanute. In 1903, the City transferred $32,000 from the City’s Municipal Gas Utility to form the Chanute Municipal Electric Utility. The funds were used to purchase a site, two small reciprocating engines and a boiler similar to that used in a railroad locomotive. The rate was 25 cents per month per light.
Over the years, a variety of equipment has been added making the Chanute Municipal Electric Utility one of the largest municipal electrical producers in Kansas. At this same time, continual investments in the electric distribution infrastructure system were made, increasing the safety, reliability and quality of our electric service.
Currently the Electric Utility operates two power plants with a diversity of power generation equipment. In 2002, the Chanute Municipal Electric Utility dedicated a new 50-megawatt gas turbine generator. Besides the natural gas turbine, the Electric Utility also has five natural gas/diesel fuel generators and two diesel fuel generators, therefore, having the ability to generate over 80-megawatts. These generators insures the community, and its demand for electricity, can continue to grow.
We have two 69kV main electric lines coming into Chanute. With the use of our three substations we can step down the voltage from 69kV lines to 12.5kV. We distribute that power through primary lines to supply our business and residential customers. We have the infrastructure in place to supply our needs into the future. The Electric Distribution department builds, repairs, and maintains over 160-miles of power lines inside Chanute and 60-miles of power lines outside of Chanute within a three-mile radius.
Currently the Chanute Municipal Electric Utility has a base load and supplemental contract with KCP&L to purchase energy. The Electric Utility has a contract to sell excess energy to Westar during peak demand months.
We strive to supply our customers with the most reliable electrical system in Southeast Kansas.