As a municipally owned electric utility, readily accessible information regarding the structure, operations and business processes of BTU is important in helping customers understand the challenges and opportunities that must be dealt with by the Board of Directors, Management and Staff on an ongoing basis. Since BTU is wholly-owned by the City of Bryan, and therefore the citizens of Bryan, we believe in informational transparency and desire that all customers gain a clear understanding of what makes this business function for the good of the community.
The information in this section is designed to make available as much pertinent information as possible to give a detailed view of how BTU functions. Information that you will not see is anything related to wholesale market positions, plans, or strategies that could be used by BTU’s competitors in the wholesale market to gain a business advantage. The success of BTU’s wholesale operation works to keep retail rates consistently among the lowest in the state by mitigating the financial risks associated with fuel supply and purchased power. Success for BTU in the wholesale market translates into lower electric costs for you at your home or business.
Bryan Water & Electric Light plant
The utility system in Bryan became municipally owned in 1909 after a fire at the City Hall/Opera House cast doubt on the reliability of the local investor owned company. It seemed that Bryan Ice Water and Light, which had furnished all three services for several years, couldn’t start the fire pump on the night the blaze broke out.
The City of Bryan purchased an electric distribution system from Bryan Ice, Water & Light for $7,650. Streetlights on Main Street were installed.
Bryan Water, Ice & Light was the main source of electricity for Bryan residents in the early 1900s. The company posted their first profit of $874. To compare, a gallon of milk costed 13 cents.
Diesel engine at Bryan Power Company was installed
City of Bryan purchased Bryan Power Company to revamp electricity distribution system and saved $65 a month. This was the beginning of the utility company being owned directly by the citizens of Bryan. At the time, there were about 768 customers being served by the company, primarily for lighting alone.
- 1921 – 1925
Streetlights installed in certain residential areas, including East and West 26th, Bryan Hospital, and Fannin School.
City Commission placeed order for an additional unit for the city power plant, to better serve the growing population of Bryan.
The City of Bryan joined Depression relief efforts and took advantage of a loan from the Rural Electric Administration (REA). Rural Electric Division of BTU delivered power to customers in Brazos, Burleson, and Robertson counties through 800 miles of line for the first time. Service area grew until Bryan’s Rural Division extended as far west as Tunis in Burleson County and as far north as Wheelock in Robertson County.
Bryan Municipal Power Plant on Atkins Street was built, beginning with one steam electric unit that grew to seven.
$10 million Atkins Plant served 1200 municipal and rural customers.
In the early 1970’s, BTU determined a need to supplement the generation resources at Atkins with generation that was both modern and more efficient than the Atkins units. The Roland C. Dansby Power Plant Unit #1 was constructed and began operation. Dansby plant was built five miles north of the city limits; was powered by natural gas with a fuel oil backup.
Bryan became part of the joint-action agency Texas Municipal Power Agency and built Gibbons Creek Plant in Carlos, Tex. Gibbons Creek was a 470 MW western coal fired steam unit, BTU’s share of this unit was 102 MW.
BTU began operation of a new General Electric LM6000 generator, an environmentally sensitive and cost-effective generator to serve a growing customer base. Manmade Lake Bryan supplied cooling water to the 115-megawatt Dansby Plant, located about three miles west of FM 2818 on Sandy Point Road.
- Oct. 2009
Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley hosted a special exhibit about BTU’s history and the electrification of Bryan and the Brazos Valley, which began the month long celebration of BTU’s 100th Anniversary.
- Oct. 7, 2009
Second LM6000 generator, Dansby Unit #3, dedicated at Dansby Power Plant. BTU celebrated 100 years of service to the citizens of Bryan and the surrounding rural areas.
Dansby Unit #3 Commissioned into service, January 11, 2010. BTU’s QSE, Qualified Scheduling Entity, prepared and began transacting in the Nodal Market which ERCOT rolled out December 1, 2010, throughout the ERCOT region.