Casino won’t gamble on electric service reliability

If you’ve ever been to casinos, you know they certainly have some major energy needs. There’s a lot of power needed to keep the bright lights blinking, the machines running and– if you’re lucky – paying out!
Exterior of Plainridge Park Casino
We were there to help when a new casino opened in Massachusetts this June (the first ever in the state). With 1,500 slot and video blackjack machines operating 24/7, we made sure the new business was able to meet their energy needs.

Installing a new substation was a major part of the plan– and I joined our team one morning when they were getting ready to switch the power feed from a temporary line to a permanent one through a new Modular Integrated Transportable Substation (MITS).

Tom, lead relay tech, and David, relay tech, are two employees from the Brockton yard who showed me around.
National Grid employees, Tom and David
The MITS substation is a little different than your typical substation.  Everything in the MITS is delivered compactly as a package – so there’s less construction time and more efficiency in getting things up and running. The new technology is just one way that we’re keeping pace with innovations in our field – and keeping pace with new demands on our infrastructure. Here’s what it looks like:

New substation
The crew conducted testing that morning to make sure everything was ready to be switched. Until the new MITS came online the casino has been feed by an existing service. Now that the MITS is online, it will be the primary, permanent feed for the casino and the former feed will become the back-up in case anything happens down the road. In the same manner, the new MITS will help bolster reliability for the surrounding area in case of other outages, as we’ll be able to reroute power through this feed to the area if needed.  In this sense it’s a win-win for the customer, the community and for National Grid.
Employees in substation
Live voltage ran through the station as the crew worked on it – the current enters the MITS at 23KV and then gets stepped down to roughly 13.2 KV. Through a communications system (pictured below), distribution operators out of Northborough are able to monitor the substation and give it commands.
Employee with communications system in substation
When the testing was complete, the final switch took place and the casino began receiving its power through the new MITS. The process was smooth and uneventful – just the way they hoped it will go, according to the crew. This is what they are trained to do, with the smooth transition a result of careful planning and safety precautions.
Employees in substation
If you’re in the Plainville area and decide to visit the casino, don’t forget we played a key role in getting the energy on and keeping it going for this new Massachusetts business.
Exterior of Plainridge Park Casino

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