New power station pumping at twice the capacity of old

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

SCOTTOWN — It was a bit like having a baby. They planned for months and when the big day came, they were excited and hoped everything worked OK.

Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative Friday began putting its new Scottown substation online. Why is this important? BREC spokesman Steve Oden said the answer is simple: modern technology.

“The old substation has been operational for a long time. We have pictures of it, and judging from the car styles and buildings in the picture, we’re thinking it was put in maybe in the 1940s or early ’50s,” Oden said.

Email newsletter signup

“So it’s been there a long time. It’s done more than anyone probably ever thought it would do. I’ve never seen one that old. It’s outlived its useful life, and it was time for it to be replaced.”

Oden once likened the old substation to a bunch of old tea kettles.

Another reason why it’s important?

The new substation is between 7.5 and 10 megawatts — at least twice the capacity of the old one. The added capability is meant to accommodate the customer growth in that area.

The Chesapeake to Proctorville area served by the Scottown substation has seen substantial development in the last several years. The additional homes and businesses require a larger utility output. Oden said BREC”s capacity has now grown alongside its customer base.

“We’ve got a substation now that will handle load growth for years to come,” Oden said.

Still another advantage of the new substation is reliability. That facility will be “loop fed” or linked by electric lines to other substations. If there is a problem with that substation, its customers can be served with working substations and will be less likely to encounter prolonged electric outages.

The opposite is also true: If another substation fails, its customers can be serviced from the new facility at Scottown.

In addition to the new substation, the BREC improvement project also allowed for the replacement of 10 miles of transmission lines.

The new substation is on property adjacent to the old one. Work began on the new facility in July 2005. The old one will be torn down.