Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has completed construction of a new 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Pinal County that will strengthen service reliability for customers in Southern Arizona.
The Pinal Central-Tortolita transmission line extends about 41 miles from the Pinal Central Substation east of Casa Grande to TEP’s Tortolita Substation, located southeast of the Red Rock area. The $76 million line construction project will help TEP meet future energy needs in Tucson, and the surrounding region, by expanding access to renewable energy and other generating resources.
To build the line, crews suspended high-capacity conductors from more than 180 steel poles and structures – each 150 to 190 feet tall – along a route approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2012. TEP plans to energize the line in November once a $61 million expansion of the Tortolita Substation is complete.
TEP is upgrading several 138-kV transmission lines to accommodate increased energy deliveries through the Pinal Central-Tortolita line. The company will spend $2 million to install new, higher-capacity wires and other equipment along a 10-mile stretch of a line linking North Loop Substation, located near Interstate 10 and Twin Peaks Road, to the Rillito Substation, near North La Canada Drive and West River Road. Additionally, TEP is investing $3 million in similar upgrades to a line connecting the North Loop Substation and the West Ina Substation, located near Interstate 10 and West Ina Road. Upgrades to three other 138-kV lines were completed earlier this year.
Since the beginning of 2012, TEP has invested more than $450 million in upgrades to TEP’s transmission and distribution system. These investments have helped TEP address changing energy needs, while preserving electric reliability and speeding service restoration in the event of an outage.
Other improvements to TEP’s transmission and distribution systems are planned for the fall. These include:
- The replacement of approximately 40 wooden poles with nearly 30 metal transmission poles and new overhead power lines along North Silverbell Road, north of West Grant Road, to accommodate a road-widening project. Crews also will upgrade underground cable in the area. The project is expected to be completed in December.
- The installation of 26 metal power poles and removal of more than 40 wooden poles near Interstate 19 and West Ajo Road to accommodate a road improvement project. Crews also will install new, higher-capacity wires along a transmission line in the area. Work is scheduled for completion this month.
- Upgrading underground cable and other equipment along a one-third mile stretch of North Sabino Canyon Road near East Tanque Verde Road, a mile-long stretch of underground cable and other equipment along East Broadway Boulevard near South Houghton Road, and a half-mile stretch of South Midvale Park Road near West Irvington Road.
- Upgrading 12 transmission poles near East Kleindale Road and North Dodge Boulevard.
- Upgrading 8 transmission poles and installing communication equipment near Interstate 19 and West Duval Mine Road in Green Valley.
TEP’s projects will upgrade a robust electrical system that spans 1,155 square miles. TEP’s system includes approximately 5,100 miles of transmission and distribution lines, more than 4,300 cable-miles of underground distribution lines, and nearly 100,000 power poles and transmission structures.