Generation Plant


The City of St. James owns and operates six diesel-fired caterpillar generators located at the Generation Plant. The City of St. James is in a dedicated capacity agreement with Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) which allows them to use the power we produce to provide power in the event of major power plant outages. MRES pays the city a monthly payment event if we are not required to run. The generators are run quarterly for testing.

Starting the Generators

The generators will not start up automatically when the power goes out. There are a lot of factors to consider before they can be started up. Factors we consider before starting generators during power outage are:

  • What caused power outage? If a line went down we can’t start them until it is put back up.
  • Is it a power outage on our system or an outage on incoming power? If the power outage is from our system, chances are it is an isolated area and we need to make repairs before the generators can be started. If it is an incoming power outage we consider how long will it take for power to be restored or whether we do some internal switching to restore power.

The bottom line is that there is almost always going to be some sort of outage time before we can get power restored. We understand that power outages are not convenient and we make every effort to restore power in a timely manner.

Interesting Facts

  •  It costs 13-14 cents to produce 1 kilowatt of energy.
  •  16 cylinder 2000 horsepower engines.
  •  Produce 2 megawatts of power per engine.
  •  Will typically burn 140 gallons of fuel per hour.
  • We have three 10,000 gallon above ground fuel tanks.

For More Information

If you have any questions or need to report a problem of any kind call City Hall at (507) 375-3241 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm or after hours call the Watonwan County Communication Center at (507) 375-3121.