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07/12/2007 ~ The Utility Board approved the purchase of more than 100 “environmentally friendly” electric transformers* at their regular meeting on Wednesday, July 11th.

Electric transformers traditionally utilize a mineral oil-based coolant, which is derived from petroleum, when transforming power to the necessary voltage level. The new “environmentally friendly” transformers will utilize coolants derived from domestically grown soybeans – a renewable energy source.

The new transformers are a part of a test program that Keys Energy Services’ (KEYS) staff will monitor and use in its determination when purchasing future transformers.

“Assuming the test program proves the field performance of the new transformers,” said Lynne Tejeda, KEYS General Manager & CEO, “I anticipate KEYS will be able to grow its green transformer program and replace outdated, petroleum-based transformers as units near the end of their use.”

Currently, an electric transformer utilizing a mineral oil-based coolant costs $1,168.00. An “environmentally friendly” transformer utilizing soybean derived coolants costs $1,246.00.

The Board previously added a business priority to its Strategic Plan at their May 23rd meeting to deal with the issue of climate change. The newly adopted priority calls for KEYS staff to “develop a plan to reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases while considering the rate impact on KEYS’ customers.”

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 11th, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West.

* Electric transformers require a long lead time for production and order fulfillment. KEYS anticipates the “environmentally friendly” transformers to be delivered by the end of the calendar year.

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