Meeting Date:           September 22, 2008


From:                          Mike Thornton, Purchasing Manager


Subject:                      Requisitions 40083 & 40084 for the purchase of equipment for remote radio control of electric system capacitors



Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends approval of purchase requisitions 40083 and 40084 from QEI, Inc. and Alligator Communications for the amounts of $28,995.00 and $41,223.00 respectively.  The total project cost is $70,218.00.



The Electric Department requested the purchase of radio controlled capacitor controllers (QEI, Inc.) and radio equipment (Alligator Communications) for 15 capacitor banks.  The purchase from both vendors is being combined into a single memorandum as the purchase of one vendors equipment depends on the purchase of the other.


The Electric power system uses capacitors for power factor correction, typically to increase the power factor.  A higher power factor is generally desirable to reduce losses related to electric power transmission or distribution and improve voltage regulation at the load or service.


The purchase of this equipment will allow the Electric Department Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to remotely switch the capacitor banks when necessary.  Implementation of remote switchable capacitors will benefit our utility customers and the Electric Utility by;


·       Eliminating wasted electric capacity, by optimizing switching parameters.

·       Reduce power losses by increasing effectiveness of switchable capacitors.

·        More efficient planning and electric system operation through data gathering.

·       Provide customers and the City energy savings through a well balanced electric system.


Purchase of the radio controllers is a sole source purchase from QEI, Inc. The Electric Department SCADA system is from QEI, Inc.  In order for the capacitor controllers to function properly they must operate on the QUICS protocol which is a proprietary system to QEI, Inc.  A sole source letter is attached for your review.


Purchase of the radio equipment to be installed on the controllers is a single source purchase from Alligator Communications.  The Electric Department currently uses Alligator radios in existing remote controllable equipment.  Alligator radios are required in order for the SCADA system to be able to ‘talk’ to the controllers.  The use of another radio system would not work.


Price quotes from each vendor are attached.



1.  Approve the purchases from QEI, Inc. and Alligator Communications; or

2.  Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate


Fiscal Impact

Funds are budgeted and available in the capital equipment account and project listed.


Submission Date and Time:    9/17/2008 5:43 PM____


Department: _Electric Department_______

Prepared by:  _Mike Thornton___________                     

Attachments:         Yes__X__   No ______

Advertised:   ____Not Required __X____                     

Dates:   __________________________                      

Attorney Review :       Yes___  No ____



Revised 6/10/04


Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________


Finance  Dept. __________JB______                                     


Deputy C.M. ________EFS_______                                                                         

Submitted by:

City Manager ___________________


Account No. _041-1099-531.64-10__


Project No. __410008___________


WF No. _____WF0494378/023____


Budget  _____$265,056.00________


Available ____$  91,649.23________