Bringing innovation to Colton Substation

Colton Substation in Pierrepont, NY, is an important interconnection for many of the hydro-power plants in its region. It’s where hydro-generated energy enters the National Grid electrical system for transmission to load centers. It’s also the site where some long-awaited renovations are underway.

We’re making upgrades to reduce the risk of unplanned outages and minimize potential safety hazards that can come with aged equipment. These include replacing seven, 70-year-old oil circuit breakers (OCBs) with lower-maintenance gas ones for greater reliability, replacing 24, 115kV disconnect switches and adding seven new capacitor coupled voltage transformers (CCVTs).

The team notes a particular source of pride in the 18-month project. It was originally slated to be completed by contractors, but instead all above-ground work is being constructed by an in-house employee crew.

“The project is being done, start to finish, by our own Protection & Telecom Operations, Stations and Transmission Line Services employees, which is great,” said Gary Denault, Central New York Substations Manager. Kip Young, Marty Andrews, Charlie Shene, Torey Thomas and their teams are doing a phenomenal job,” he said.

Denault also called out the positive impact of this on-the-job training for succession planning. “Many of our employees have careers over 20 years long. They want to share knowledge with their newer colleagues and projects like these are a perfect opportunity to do so.”

Kip Young, Sr. Supervisor of Operations, shared that working together with the Transmission Control Center (TCC) was central to keeping the project running smoothly. “The required outages were complicated. It takes much effort and careful planning to coordinate and schedule the 115kV bus out of service. Our partnership with the TCC to manage this was a real team effort,” he said.

The renovation project is on schedule and is expected to continue through 2017.

Have a look at some photos taken during a Steve Holliday field visit (Click on Info for the captions).

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