The Electric Department maintains all electric servcie for the City of Gonzales and Harwood, which includes conductors, switches and transformers, and 57 miles of utility lines for the distribution of electricity. Electricity is purchased from L.C.R.A. with some local electric production from the City's hydro plant.
Primary functions of the Electric Department are to run new electric service, change old lines and build new lines where needed. The departments duties also include installing and maintaining street lights, trimming trees around electrical lines, reading electric and water meters monthly, and preparing for any special events such as the "Come and Take It" celebration. The department helps all City departments in maintaining the lighting and electrical needs at all City facilities.
Payments and arrangements for electric services should be made at City Hall, 820 St. Joseph Street.
History of the Hydro-Electric Plant
The Gonzales dam on the Guadalupe River is essential for flood control and water recreation. It also contains a functioning hydroelectric plant. The power house was built in 1925. The dam itself is older, dating back to the teens. The plant produces an average of 1.1 megawatts, which makes up about one sixth of Gonzales’ power supply. The rest is purchased from the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority).
CP&L (Central Power and Light) owned the plant until 1965. The city of Gonzales obtained a license to operate it in 1980. Though the Gonzales hydroelectric plant doesn’t have a huge output, it is helpful. “It helps when we’re in load management, when there’s a lot of demand,” said Marek. “It just gives us a little extra we don’t have to buy from the LCRA.