OMPA Holds Groundbreaking of Charles D. Lamb Energy Center on February 13th

Contact Drake N. Rice, OMPA Director of Member Services, 405/359-2500


OMPA Holds Groundbreaking of Charles D. Lamb Energy Center on February 13th


“Today represents a significant milestone in its (Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority’s (OMPA’s)) 32 year history,” said Charles D. Lamb, OMPA Board of Directors Chair, during the groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the 103-megatt natural gas plant named after him.  “Being honored by the (OMPA) Board was something that I didn’t see coming.  I am truly, truly honored,” added Lamb.  Approximately 100 people attended the ceremony held at the site under sunny skies in northern Kay County. OMPA Board Members, member city elected officials and staff, along with OMPA staff and contractors, were among those that attended the ceremony. Also in attendance were former OMPA General Managers Roland H. Dawson and Cindy L. Holman. 

David W. Osburn, OMPA General Manager, welcomed everyone to the groundbreaking and gave an overview of the process involved with the construction of the plant starting with the power supply study that was completed in January 2012.  “This will be OMPA’s first greenfield power plant project in which OMPA is not a partner, but the sole owner and operator,” stated Osburn.

Construction of the plant will begin on February 17, 2014, with an estimated completion date of April 2015.   Peter Kelley, Vice President, Fossil Power Technologies for Sargent & Lundy, who is the project engineer for the plant, said at the groundbreaking ceremony, “A lot of groundwork makes the project go smoothly.”

In his comments at the ceremony, Phil Berthelot, TIC (The Industrial Company) Vice President for Business Development, who was chosen as the general contractor for the project, stated how TIC had become “the newest OMPA partner.  Construction of the project is going to be a team effort.”

Also at the groundbreaking ceremony was Greg Snyder, Vice President & Region Executive for Siemens Energy Inc.  Siemens was awarded the contract to provide the SGT6-2000E simple-cycle combustion turbine-generator for the plant, which Snyder mentioned was being manufactured in Charlotte, North Carolina.  “It’s a great local project and we are excited to be part of it,” Snyder said.  The turbine, which is fired with natural gas, will have an installed capacity of 103 megawatts.

The plant will be used primarily for peaking power.  Peaking power is power that is produced due to the high demand for electricity during the warm summer months.  The plant will be a quick-start plant and will have very little noise, due to the sound minimizing barrier around the turbine.

The OMPA Board of Directors voted to name the facility the Charles D. Lamb Energy Center, after their Board Chairman.  Since 2001, Lamb has served as OMPA Board Chairman and is the longest tenured elected official to serve on the board.  He is serving as the fifth OMPA Board Chairman and has served longer than anyone else in that position.  Lamb also is the Mayor for the City of Edmond,  Before being appointed Mayor in 2011, he served on the Edmond City Council for 15 years.

The site is located in northern Kay County, seven miles north of Ponca City and six miles east of Blackwell on State Highway 11.  Both Ponca City and Blackwell are OMPA member cities.  The size of the site at 160 acres allows OMPA to install additional units, if needed, in the future. The plant will utilize approximately 45 acres with the remaining acres leased for farming.

The site was chosen due to the location of an existing Southern Star Gas natural gas pipeline and a recently built OG&E 345,000-volt transmission line.  Phillip Rullman, Vice President & Chief Communications Services Officer for Southern Star Gas, who attended the groundbreaking, discussed how his company will be providing “safe, efficient and reliable gas” for the plant “to meet future growth strategies.”  The gas line allows for fuel supply to reach the plant, while the high voltage transmission line will allow the power to immediately be delivered into the state-wide transmission grid.  Water for the plant will be supplied by the Ponca City Utility Authority, who have already constructed the water line to the site..  The plant will be operated by the OMPA Power Production Department in Ponca City.

In addition to Charles D. Lamb, those serving on the OMPA Board are A.L. “Buddy” Veltema from Walters, Vice Chairman (Chairman Emeritus); John Ramey, Okeene City Manager, Treasurer; Robert Johnston, Frederick City Manager, Secretary; Dale Bunn, Purcell City Manager; Jim Frieda, Duncan City Manager; Elizabeth Gray, Altus City Manager; Homer Nicholson, Ponca City Mayor; Mary Rupp, Perry City Manager; Mark Skiles, Blackwell City Manager; Leslie Swinerton, Geary Mayor; and James C. Joseph, State Bond Advisor, Ex-Officio Member.

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 39 municipal electric utilities.  OMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities.  The members of OMPA serve approximately two-hundred and fifty-thousand Oklahomans.