1906: At the Annual Town Meeting on March 10th the Town voted to construct the Light Plant to distribute electricity.
Article #15: “To see if the Town will vote to construct within its limits a plant for the distribution of electricity for furnishing light for municipal use and light, heat and power for use by its inhabitants.”
Article #5 passed with a 270 to 35 vote and the Town voted to raise and appropriate the sum not to exceed $ 15,000 to fund electric plant. The Town voted to issue notes to raise the sum of $ 15,000. On July 25th the Town voted 81 to 12 to raise and appropriate and additional $ 6,500 for the electric plant.
Some other Templeton Department Budgets:
School $ 8,529
Fire $ 2,400
Highway $ 4,000
1907: On January 25th the lines of the Templeton Municipal Light Plant were energized for the first time. On June 8th the Light Plant started operating 24 hours per day. Streetlights were on each night until midnight (unless the moon was out).
1928: The Light Plant started the New Year with a 1¢ per Kilowatt-Hour [KWH] discount if customers’ electric bills were paid within the first 10 days of receipt. This policy remains in effect to present (2012). There were 900 electric meters installed.
1930: At the Annual Town Meeting Article #21 passed: “To see if the Town will appoint a committee of 5 men to investigate the advisability of selling the Light Plant and report to a Special Town Meeting no later than March 7th, 1931.”
(Light Plant not Sold)
1935: The cost of electricity for the first 25 KWH of electricity consumed was $ 0.09 per unit. The next 25 KWH consumed cost $ 0.07 per unit. All remaining KWH cost $ 0.04 per unit. A bill that was dated for August cost $ 1.89 for 21 KWH!!!
1937: Electric Ranges and Refrigerators were added to the lines of the Light Plant. Lorey Tourtellot was named the Manager of the Light Plant.
1939: Templeton Municipal Light Plant purchased over 1,000,000 KWH for the first time in its history. The Light Plant was able to repair the damage sustained by the 1938 hurricane out of its own earnings and was still able to turn over to the Town the funds appropriated for Street Lighting.
1940: The Light Plant’s facility was moved to #2 School Street. The Budget for this year was $ 52,650. The KWH Sales this year brought in $ 46,196; Street Lighting brought in $ 2,647. The Light Plant utilized 188 distribution transformers.
1950: The Light Plant Budget for this year was $ 111,694. KWH Sold were 2,388,962 at $ 0.0405 per KWH. The Light Plant had installed 1,427 electric meters by this time. There were also 289 distribution transformers being utilized for a total of 2,340 Kilovolt-Amperes [KVA] in service.
Some other Templeton Department Budgets:
School: $ 127,882
Highway: $ 30,452
1951: Templeton Municipal Light Plant purchased 3,212,310 KWH for the Town’s electric supply this year. There were 1,527 electric meters and 453 street lights being utilized at this time.
1956: The Light Plant celebrates 50 years of electric service to the Town. A new distribution circuit is constructed to connect Templeton Center to East Templeton.
1959: A new power transformer was purchased for the East Templeton Substation behind Wilson Bus Lines for $ 6,450. A new aerial ladder truck was purchased as well.
1960: The Light Plant Budget for this year was $ 219,374.
The School Department Budget was $ 268,383.
1964: The Light Plant utilized 605 Street Lights and purchased 9,608,200 KWH to supply the Town’s electricity. Alex Zalewski becomes the Templeton Water Superintendent.
1965: Templeton Municipal Light Plant establishes customer deposits. The Templeton Water Commission was comprised of Ralph Alexander, Francis Brooks and Kermit Coleman.
1970: The Light Plant Budget for this year was $ 525,008; 11,164,095 KWH were purchased for the Town’s electric supply. The Town’s Street Lighting consumed 442,829 KWH at $ 0.0202 per KWH.
1973: Steven Manty becomes the Templeton Water Superintendent.
1974: Leland “Mike” Fletcher retires as Light Plant Manager. He is replaced by John Columbus.
1977: John Columbus passes away and is replaced by Gerald Skelton as Light Plant Manager.
1980: The Gardner Airport receives 3-phase electric service via Pail Factory Road. The Templeton Municipal Light Plant had a budget of $ 1,846,308 and sold 44,711,960 KWH to its customers. The Peak Load was 8,375 Kilowatts (KW).
The School Department Budget was $2,602,559.
1981: Templeton Municipal Light Plant purchases the North Baldwinville Substation; the Light Plant subsequently expands the capacity of the substation from 12,500 KVA to 25,000 KVA, doubling their load capacity.
1983: The Light Plant purchases 65,468,182 KWH for the Town’s electric supply. The Water Department begins replacing older inside-read water meters with newer ARB outside-read ones.
1985: The Light Plant installs 44 new electric services this year; up 64% from the previous year. The Sawyer Street Well is put online in July for the Water Department.
1988: The Light Plant installs decorative Street Lighting in Baldwinville Center and fed underground as part of a larger refurbishing project.
1989: The Light Commission votes to “computerize” the Light Plant Office. Wiring Inspector Alexander Yackowski passes away.
1990: Light Commissioner Roger Houghton passes away on March 10th. Templeton Municipal Light Plant’s Budget is $ 6,294,972 for this year; 83,960,253 KWH were sold to customers. The Peak Load was 12,275 KW.
The School Department Budget was $ 9,265,325.
1993: Farnsworth Road and French Road were converted from 2,400-Volt to 8,000-Volt electric distribution.
1996: The Light Plant Office Manager Joan Plourde loses her battle with cancer.
1998: The Town’s Street Lights were converted from Mercury Vapor units to High- Pressure Sodium ones.
1999: The Templeton Light Commission loses two of its members, Stanley Dymek and Michael Kwasny. There were 81 years of service between the two of them.
2000: The Light Plant Budget was $ 5,555,046; there were 63,076,749 KWH sold for the year. The Peak Load was 10,450 KW.
2001: The Municipal Light and Water Departments merge; the Town’s taxpayers without municipal water no longer fund the Water Department. Ronald Davan is hired as the new Templeton Water Superintendent. In June the Light Commission enters into a contract with Haynes, Lieneck & Smith to design and engineer a new Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant facility on Bridge Street.
2002: Construction of the new Light and Water Office Building went out to bid and was won by AMS Construction.
2003: Construction of the new Light & Water Office Building was completed. Templeton Light and Water Employees were moved out starting on June 28th. The new facility was opened for regular business on July 2nd.
2004: In March of this year Gerald Skelton retired from the Templeton Municipal Light & Water Plant after 26 years of service and was replaced by Sean Hamilton. Transformer #1 was replaced at the Substation for a cost of $ 304,000, while simultaneously increasing the Light Plant’s load capacity from 25,000 KVA to 42,500 KVA. A Contract was signed in June with Kinsmen Corporation to construct a new greensand water filtration for the Sawyer Street Well Site. The Light Plant began the task of replacing all of its electromechanical meters with solid-state automatically read meters for all of their residential and small commercial customers (3,400 meters).
2005: The Light Plant completed all residential electric meter replacements for their residential and small commercial customers. There were 153 new electric services installed for this year as well. The Light Budget was $ 7,073,374 for this year and the Light Plant sold 66,353,630 KWH. The Peak Load was 11,802 KW.
2006: The aerial electrical distribution circuit on Baldwinville Road was replaced from Baptist Common Road to MA Route 2, retiring another circuit with 34 years behind it. A new storage facility was constructed on Bridge Street as part of the light and water facility for the purpose of transformer storage. The Line Personnel began the installation of two new distribution reclosers and one distribution sectionalizer which would minimize the number of customers without power during a line fault or storm event. In April of this year Light Superintendent Robert Grucan retired from the Light Plant after 34 years of service and was replaced by John Driscoll.
2007: The Light Plant began the task of replacing a 50-year-old electrical distribution circuit purchased from Massachusetts Electric Company many years ago. This 1.9-mile long “1301” dedicated line to Seaman Paper Company on Main Street in Otter River would be replaced with a 1.5-mile long dedicated line comprised of covered aerial conductor. This new 1301 circuit would be a huge improvement to our distribution system reliability for a customer who represents one-third of the Town’s electric demand. The Line Personnel also installed capacitor banks on Baldwinville Road and Depot Road to improve load power factor and voltage profile for the electrical distribution system. The Peak Load was 11,340 KW in December.
2008: The Light Plant replaced both the URD cable and the three voltage regulators for the “1302” circuit out of the Substation for a cost of $ 73,650. This station circuit had been previously unavailable due to a 1998 URD cable fault, and the regulators had been in service since 1972. Transformer #2 at the Substation was also replaced for a cost of $ 846,000, while simultaneously increasing the Light Plant’s load capacity from 42,500 KVA to 60,000 KVA. This would most likely be adequate to support the Town’s electrical demands for the next 40 years. Capacitor Bank installation continued on Patriots Road, at Seaman Paper Company and at W.J. Graves Construction Company. The Peak Load was 11,279 KW again in December.
The entire region suffered the wrath of an Ice Storm in December of this year which took down hundreds of both distribution and transmission circuits throughout Central MA. The entire Town lost its electricity early morning on December 12th when the feed from National Grid became unavailable from either direction. Access to electricity via the Town’s transmission line was not regained until 42 hours later on December 14th. All of the Light Plant’s electric customers had been restored to normal utility power by December 16th less those who still required repair from a licensed electrician. The Light Plant received Mutual Aid assistance in the form of 8 line personnel and 4 aerial lifts from Norwood, Holyoke and Chicopee. Final restoration costs were $ 400,000, most of which was recoverable through the MEMA reimbursement process.
2009: The Light Plant replaced both the URD cable and the three voltage regulators for the “1303” circuit out of the Substation for a cost of $ 73,976. Both the URD cable and the regulators had been in service since 1981. Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant had also awarded a construction bid to Waterline Industries to install a roadway and a foundation for the new 1,650- KW Wind Turbine for a cost of $ 716,674. The Line Personnel installed the necessary additional 1,300’ of new OHL and URD three-phase electrical distribution apparatus to connect the new turbine to their 1302 circuit for a cost of $ 73,224. The Light Plant also completed the installation of a 6.8-KW Solar Array at the Light and Water Facility. This array was expected to output approximately 7,750 KWH annually to reduce the energy consumption of office by 10%. The Peak Load was 10,866 KW in December.
2010: The Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant awarded a construction bid to Lumus Construction to assemble, test and commission the new 1,650-KW Wind Turbine for a cost of $ 424,712. The Light Plant purchased the wind turbine unit from AAER in Canada for a cost of $ 2,154,141. The Templeton Wind Turbine went to commercial operation in September and generated 863,344 KWH for this year. In November Sean Hamilton left as the Manager to take a position at the Sterling Municipal Light Department. John Driscoll took over the role of Manager in December of this year. Tom Berry replaces John Driscoll as the new Light Superintendent. The Peak Load was 10,660 KW in January. Both the light and water customer bill printing, sorting and mailing are now done outside the office by Mark Altman & Associates; this measure greatly reduced both departments’ cost per bill to process.
2011: The Templeton Wind Turbine generated 1,741,172 KWH this year. John LeClerc, who was instrumental in getting the Templeton Wind Project off of the ground, loses his battle with cancer in June. The Light Plant Budget was $ 7,951,633 and there were 60,400,144 KWH Sold to their customers this year. The Peak Load was 10,590 KW again in January.