A new substation being constructed in Ainsworth, Nebraska, will not only feature improved technology, but will also have a larger capacity rating to allow for growth in the community.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is coordinating construction of the new substation, which was deemed necessary to replace an existing substation built in 1941. With its deteriorating wooden poles and beams, refurbishing the previous substation would not be cost effective, and there is not enough room to restore the substation at its present location to meet National Electric Safety Code requirements. The replacement steel substation is located 1 ½ blocks away from the existing substation at a site with ample room to safely meet design requirements.
“The new substation will include a Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition system that will enable NPPD’s Kearney Control Center to remotely operate and monitor the structure,” said NPPD Project Lead Lee Conroy. “An automatic recloser allowing for improved safety and efficiency of the substation will be installed as well. These features will greatly improve the electric system’s reliability and decrease outage times.”
NPPD began grading land for the substation in November 2011, and fence installation is currently underway and expected to be completed by February 24. Dezort, Inc., a construction company based in North Platte, has been hired to install foundations, underground conduit and grounding for the substation. Most of the work, however, will be completed by NPPD crews.
All work on the new substation, including complete removal of the old substation, is expected to be completed this spring, with the new transformer in-service by May 30. In addition, an existing 34.5-kV sub-transmission line from NPPD’s 115-kV substation in Ainsworth will be re-routed along First Street to the new substation. About 800 ft of 69-kV lines will be installed with approximately eight wooden poles, half of which will be laminated wood poles that will reduce the need for guy wires. About 800 ft of 34.5-kV line will be removed.
Two existing distribution circuits from this substation will also be re-routed to the new substation via an underground conduit that will run approximately 500 ft along First Street. NPPD will work with the community to minimize impacts throughout the duration of the project.