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Utilities pay off mortgage on Hunter II power plant

Published June 11, 2012 8:22 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems said it has made its final mortgage payment on its share of the Hunter II power plant near Castle Dale in Emery County.

UAMPS, a consortium of 45 municipally owned utilities in eight Western states, issued $66 million in bonds on May 1, 1982. The money was used to purchase a 14.6 percent interest in the Hunter II project, which represented about 57 megawatts of the 390-megawatt coal-fired generating unit. A megawatt is enough electricity to run the appliances in approximately 750 homes.

"It's all ours, no more payments to bond holders. It's kind of a good feeling," Douglas Hunter, UAMPS general manager, said in a statement announcing the final payment. "We actually paid the bonds off four years earlier than anticipated by the original agreement."

Hunter said 30 years ago, going into debt for $66 million was a scary proposition for the 21 relatively small Utah municipalities. Those 21 municipalities had formed UAMPS to buy a share of the Hunter II plant.

"We were really born with Hunter II," said Hunter. "It taught us numerous lessons, and turned us into what we are today."

Today, the Hunter plant provides only 11.4 percent of UAMPS' resource mix. The consortioum now has more than double the number of municipal members and has grown from ownership in just one project to 15 diverse energy-producing and service projects.