Complete substation rebuild gets done with time to spare

The National Grid team working on the Lake Road substation in Wilson, NY, had its hands full. The rebuild project to improve overall reliability for area customers hit a couple of snags. A disruption with a temporary mobile substation and delays with materials prompted them to revisit the plan.

This renewed focus paid off, said Western New York Substations Manager, John Burke. “Our construction team revised plans to condense the work schedule and provide additional backup power support in the interim,” he said. “They worked tirelessly to address any issues and complete the project ahead of schedule.”

The $2.75 million project included a complete rebuild of the station, originally built in the early 1970s. Updates also provide nearly double the substation’s previous power capacity to support future economic growth in the area. Also, the new equipment can be monitored and controlled remotely from our regional control center in Buffalo. This allows the company to respond to outages and other service issues more rapidly.

As part of its Connect21 strategy, National Grid has made significant commitments to upgrade its network throughout the region to bring the most modern, efficient service to customers, said Ken Kujawa, regional manager for the company.

“This project also allowed us to demonstrate to area elected officials how we’re investing in their communities and are working to improve reliability. It’s important to make connections between projects like this and how they’re represented in rate filings. It helps us show the benefits behind those efforts and hopefully garner future stakeholder support,” Kujawa said.

Kujawa also noted key communications with area customers. The team used Global Connect to call every customer served by the Lake Road station with a short message to inform them of the project and its intended benefits.

Burke lauded the noteworthy performances of many IBEW Local 97 and management employees, including Substation Construction, Protection & Telcom Operations, Meter & Test, Distribution Line, Central Division Transportation, Project Management, Regional Control, Jurisdictional, Distribution Line and Contracting.

Lake Road substation in Wilson, NY

(Photo:  Legislature Chairman William Ross (C-Wheatfield), Cambria Supervisor Wright Ellis, Wilson Supervisor Joseph Jastrzemski, Regional Jurisdiction Manager Ken Kujawa, Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey (R-Wilson), Niagara USA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Korey Schuler, Lead Project Manager Larry Cobado and Lead Supervisor William Patchett at Lake Road substation in Wilson, NY.)



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