Electricity first arrived in Bryan in 1889 when the Bryan Electric Company, a private utility organized by out-of-town investors, obtained a contract with the village for the installation of electric street lights. In 1896, the street lighting contract came up for renewal. The village council asked for better service at a lower rate, but the Bryan Electric company balked. After reaching a stalemate, the council called for a special election to vote on issuing $15,000 of village bonds to purchase or build a municipally-owned power plant and electrical distribution system. The vote was 402 to 54 in favor, and Bryan began its first century in the electric utility business.
Today, Bryan Electric Department maintains more than 130 miles of electric lines–10 miles of 138,000 volt transmission line, 26 miles of 69,000 volt transmission line, and more than 100 miles of distribution lines. Approximately 220 million kW hours go through 6,030 electric meters every year. We also do our own construction. We are continually improving our electrical system by upgrading as we replace old poles, transformers, wood arms, and worn out wire. We converted the old 4,160-volt system to a more efficient 12,470-volt system. This new voltage gives us the ability to supply power for future industrial and residential growth.