The Kissimmee Utility Authority in Florida has energized its new $17.2 million Roy E. Hansel Substation, which replaces the Power Plant Substation that served Kissimmee’s downtown and business district for more than 40 years.
The new substation carried some customer load over the holidays as part of its operational testing phase. Utility technicians switched out the last transmission circuit serving the old Power Plant Substation this past Monday. The remaining two transmission lines will be brought into the Hansel Substation by Jan. 22, completing the new substation energization sequence.
The new substation is a Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) gas insulated design -- the first of its kind in Osceola County, the second in Central Florida and the fourth in Florida. Unlike the open-air design of traditional substations, much of the new facility and supporting equipment is housed inside a building to minimize the visual impact. In addition, transmission lines and distribution feeders enter the substation underground, improving overall aesthetics while reducing some of the exposure to outages from animal life.
The old substation, constructed in the early 1970s, will be dismantled over the next several months, and the vacant lakefront property will be returned to the city of Kissimmee for future development.
The substation is named in honor of Roy E. Hansel, a third-generation resident of Kissimmee who ran the electric utility from 1943 until 1972.