A transmission improvement project that will bolster reliability for customers in eastern Kentucky reached a major stage this month with the installation of the first of four new transformers near Louisa.
Each of the 750 MVA transformers weighs in at about 700,000 pounds each and requires the use of special equipment to move into place at the Baker Substation. The transformers, made in Sweden, arrived in the U.S. via ship. They then were transported by rail to Kentucky Power’s Big Sandy Power Plant. The first one was then loaded onto a 36-axel device to then transport transformer less than a mile to the substation.
“This project represents a significant investment in eastern Kentucky and will improve reliability for our residential, commercial and industrial customers,” said Kentucky Power President and COO Greg Pauley. “This project is one way we are modernizing our power delivery infrastructure and supporting our commitment to provide our customers with safe, reliable and affordable electrical service.”
The transformers (three and a spare) are part of a $70 million expansion and upgrade of the 765 kilovolt (kV) Baker Substation and part of a larger commitment by Kentucky Power and AEP to improve power quality and minimize outages. The project, slated to be completed by June 1, also includes the installation of new circuit breakers and a drop-in control module.
In addition, four new 765 kV reactors (three and a spare) and switches were installed after one of the 1970s vintage reactors caught on fire in November 19, 2014. Substations direct the flow of electricity and use transformers to transform the voltage to different levels. Reactors are used for voltage control.