CAIRO — Officials with the City of Cairo are celebrating a deal that will bring an additional $25,000 to the city's coffers through the sale of excess power capacity.

City council members voted unanimously Monday night to sell more than 4,000 kilowatts of spare energy to the cities of Blakely and Sandersville.

"This is a win-win for us since without such a deal we would most likely get $0 for our excess," said City Manager Chris Addleton, who made the recommendation to the city council along with Energy Services Director Rod Prince that the sale be authorized.

The two municipalities offered to purchase a combined 4,189 kilowatts of energy at a price of $6 per kilowatts, or $25,134.

Blakely will be receiving 1,831 kilowatts while Sandersville will take in 2,358 kilowatts during calendar year 2021. Council member Jimmy Douglas also noted that the two municipalities likely will need to purchase additional excess power in future years, leaving Cairo the opportunity to take in additional money.

Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) cities like Cairo are required to maintain a minimum of 15% surplus power capacity. The Syrup City is currently in excess of about five megawatts above their needs "and has been for as long as I can remember," Addleton wrote in a letter to the city council.

As it turns out, the fellow MEAG cities of Blakely and Sandersville need additional power to meet their 15% threshold next year, putting Cairo in a position make the deal.

Excess capacity is "pretty much worthless" to the city aside from being used to sell to another MEAG city in need, Addleton wrote.

"That's the key," the city manager said Monday night. "Something is better than nothing."

Proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund the city's electric budget.

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