Substation updates improve resiliency
Crews update substation in Southeastern Indiana REMC territory
EnergyLines October 2020
On the outskirts of Vevay, Ind., one of Hoosier Energy’s primary substations has had substantial improvements made. The focus of this four-month project was to connect an alternate AC source for a nearby microwave tower. Power is being supplied by Southeastern Indiana REMC.
Substation foreman Trevor Asche, who supervised the project, said one of the biggest upgrades was to connect a microwave tower feeding off the transformer to service from Southeastern Indiana REMC. The tower enables communication between Hoosier Energy system control, headquarters and substation equipment.
“If we took that substation offline, we had no alternative energy source,” Asche explained. “We had to run a generator all the time, so this setup is a lot better. This powers the microwave tower, and if we have that substation down, we have an alternative feed from the REMC.”
The Fairview primary substation steps down the incoming transmission of 138 kV from Duke Energy and distributes to two outgoing 69 kV circuits, which feed a few smaller distribution substations.
“This was a complete rebuild of the whole substation, except for the existing transformer. That’s the only thing we did not change,” said Asche, adding that the upgrades increase grid resiliency.
Crews from the substation and communications, lineworkers and engineers worked on the project, which included upgrading the electro-mechanical relays, putting new relays in the control building, running all new control wire to equipment in the yard, as well as reconducting the aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced (ACSR) cables that feed off the breakers.
Asche added that they installed four new gas circuit breakers, which replaced the original breakers when the substation was built in the early 1980s.
“These improvements should last a long time,” Asche says. “These are the best of the best breakers – SF6 gas breakers – and newer Schweitzer controls.”
Because of COVID-19 restrictions that included two-week rotating schedules, the updates took longer to complete.