Aesthetic Reliability: Designing Xcel Energy's New Substation in Downtown Denver

March 14, 2018
Xcel Energy built a new gas-insulated substation (GIS) that would meet system protection and reliability requirements

When a legacy air-insulated substation with a straight bus and aging metal-clad switchgear could no longer meet the capacity demands and NERC reliability requirements, Xcel Energy built a new gas-insulated substation (GIS) that would meet system protection and reliability requirements in a compact space as well as provide considerable visual appeal to the everyday passerby.

The utility partnered with Burns & McDonnell to use 3D modeling to build within the strict confines of the property size, existing equipment and required balance-of-plant equipment for the 115-kV GIS.

The team faced extreme challenges but accomplished the mission, and now Xcel Energy can move forward with the final phases of transitioning the 115-kV elements into the GIS. Following are images from the project, featured in the cover story of the March 2018 issue of T&D World. 

Xcel Energy and Burns & McDonnell will host a tour of the substation on April 18 during the 2018 IEEE PES T&D Conference & Expo. Registration is limited. This project also will be presented during the IEEE Young Professionals Project panel session at the conference.

About the Author

Brian Richter

Brian Richter is a registered professional engineer in the state of Colorado and senior manager of substation and transmission engineering outsourcing at Xcel Energy. His background is in substation engineering and design as well as protective relaying.

About the Author

Charlaine Douden

Charlaine Douden is a member of the substation and transmission engineering outsourcing team at Xcel Energy, with more than 30 years of experience in design and project management of substation projects.

About the Author

Janson Ferrera

Janson Ferrera is a registered professional engineer and project manager at Burns & McDonnell, designing substation projects for major utilities. His project experience spans a wide range of scopes for greenfield and brownfield sites, including engineering-only and engineer-procure-construct project delivery methods.

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