Are you ready for some football?
Our New England electric operations team is.
That’s because every year at the start of football season National Grid liaises with the operations team at Gillette stadium to make sure that we’ve got everything in order for the start of the New England Patriots football season.
Big events like the season opener (taking place Thursday, September 10) demand a huge amount of power from our system – and for an event like it, the stadium could use up to 9 Megawatts of power in one night (that’s enough to power close to 1800 homes). If you think about all of the energy that goes into the lighting, technology, media and concession operations of a single game you’ll start to understand the task ahead of us.
To make sure things go smoothly at the start of each year, New England electric operations embarks on a testing and preparation schedule to make sure the system is ready to handle that kind of load.
“We tend to find something every year as a result of damages from winter storms,” said Supervisor Mike Morin.
In the off-season, his team conducts a complete infrared inspection of the lines and the primary feeder – a 13 KV line that feeds the stadium from the Crocker Pond substation. From there the team also conducts a manhole inspection and testing on the back-up feeds and reclosers. It can take about 3-4 days to complete this work and it takes a large coordinated effort to get it done. His team works in partnership with the Worcester Lab and with Community Managers to make sure all goes smoothly. Communication with the operations team at Gillette is critical to this, since we need access to site regularly and because the facility often has shifting energy needs based on the day.
The work of Mike’s team, based out of our Providence, Worcester, Hopedale and Somerset locations, doesn’t stop when the Patriots season begins though – they conduct inspections of the lines before each game to monitor for downed braches as a precautionary measure.
So next time you’re in your recliner watching the game, with some hot wings in one hand and the TV remote in another– don’t forget the part we play in bringing the action into your living room. Without our talented operations team who are committed to maintaining reliable electric operations in the area, you might not catch that game-winning play.