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Bryan Texas Utilities

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BTU History

State and National Affiliations

Our History

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Main Street Bryan in 1910

  • Utilities in Bryan became municipally owned in 1909 following a fire that burned down Bryan City Hall and Opera House. The failure of the privately owned Bryan Ice, Water & Light to put out the blaze spurred the City to run the utility system itself to prevent such issues in the future.
  • In 1911 the City of Bryan purchased its first electric distribution system from Bryan Ice, Water & Light for $7,650, and street lights on Main Street in Downtown Bryan were installed.
  • In 1913, Bryan Ice, Water & Light posted their first profit of $874, at a time when milk was $0.13 per gallon. The company also installed their first diesel engine generator.
  • The citizen of Bryan officially owned, what was then called the Bryan Power Company, as of 1919. At this time there were approximately 768 customers being served by the company, primarily for lighting.

Downtown Bryan 1920s

  • Between 1921 and 1925 streetlights were installed in certain residential areas of Bryan, including east and west 26th Street, Bryan Hospital, and Fannin School.
  • As Bryan continued to grow, it became clear to City Commissioners that another generation unit was needed to produce enough electricity for the citizens. In 1925 the city power plant ordered an additional unit.

  • As the Great Depression began coming to a close, the City of Bryan joined in the relief efforts by obtaining a loan from the Rural Electric Administration (REA) to establish a Rural Electric division in 1938. The service territory was expanded to customers in Brazos, Burleson, and Robertson counties. Approximately 800 miles of powerline were installed, and the rural division extended as far west as Tunis in Burleson County, and as far north as Wheelock in Robertson County.

  • The Bryan Municipal Power Plant was built on Atkins Street, beginning with one steam electric unit. It would eventually be home to seven generating units.

Volt meter from the 1950s

Advertisement from 1962

  • By the time the City of Bryan entered the 70’s, BTU had grown to well over 12,000 municipal and residential customer. It became clear that a more modern generating facility was needed. The Roland C. Dansby Power Plant, named for former Mayor Dansby, was built 5 miles north of the City of Bryan in 1978 with one steam unit, powered by natural gas with a fuel oil backup system. Lake Bryan was built as the cooling source for the plant.

  • BTU join three other municipally owned utilities, Garland, Greenville, Denton, to form the Texas Municipal Power Agency (TMPA) a cooperatively built the Gibbons Creek Power Plant in Carlos Texas. The 470 MW lignite coal fired steam unit expanded BTU’s generation by over 100 MW.

  • Gibbon’s Creek abandoned lignite mining in favor of using the more economical option, western fired coal.

Dansby Power Plant

  • Dansby Power Plant received a new environmentally sensitive, and cost-effective, generating unit in 2004 to serve the growing customer base, bringing the generation capacity of the plant to 115 MW.
  • Atkins Power Plant was decommissioned in 2006, at the end of its lifespan.
  • In 2009, BTU celebrated 100 years of serving the community with a special exhibit at the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley. The same year, a third generating unit was installed at Dansby Power Plant, providing even more generation to the customers of BTU.
  • In 2010, Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI), also known as ‘Smart Meters’, was installed throughout the BTU service territory. By 2012 all customer meter data was being wirelessly transmitted.
  • BTU was the only public power utility in Texas in 2014 to receive the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond award. This three year designation is awarded to public power utilities who demonstrate the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.
  • A 40 mile 138kV transmission project, which began in 2009, was completed at the end of 2014, and provided increased capacity to the existing 120 miles of infrastructure. The South Loop Project also included the construction of three new substations, Wellborn, Koppe Bridge, and Millican Switch, all located in southern Brazos County.
  • BTU was recognized for a second three-year term in 2017 as an APPA RP3 Diamond award designee.
  • In 2017, BTU proudly donated a new exhibit to the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley called the ‘Bryan Texas Utilities Illumination Station’. The exhibit features a 4 foot by 4 foot LED lighted peg board, where children can exercise their creativity while also enhancing their fine motor skills. The exhibit was officially opened on August 5 for the enjoyment of all children in the Brazos Valley.
  • In October 2018, BTU took over operations of the Lake Bryan Park. The park had previously been leased long-term by a third party contractor. Since taking over operations, BTU has invested in park infrastructure, including new restroom and camping facilities, and new amenities such as the Paddle EZ paddleboard and kayak rental station.
  • In 2020, BTU was awarded a third consecutive Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond Designation by the American Public Power Association.