Two New WNY Substations Energized

By Alana Martin

Two new western New York substations will improve system reliability and increase electricity capacity. The facilities, located in the Town of Tonawanda and in Harmony, N.Y. were energized in June and follow the energizing of National Grid’s Ohio Street substation in Buffalo, which went into service last year. All total, National Grid’s three newest substations represent a total of $42.5 million in new infrastructure investments that were designed to deliver safe, reliable electricity to customers.


Tonawanda Substation
The new Town of Tonawanda substation relieves capacity constraints in Tonawanda and meets demand of new customers in Erie County. Construction on the new, 115/13.2 kV substation began in September 2018. The $13 million substation taps into existing 115 kV Huntley-Gardenville electricity transmission lines and feeds a distribution system that serves the Town of Tonawanda.

The new powerhouse performs two roles: it relieves capacity constraints around nearby Riverview Solar Technology Park and it provides a reliability upgrade to meet increased demand that future economic development opportunities may bring. Among its features include ground fault overvoltage protection, which supports growth of distributed generation in the region, while at the same time protecting our high-voltage network.

“National Grid’s commitment to our customers begins by providing safe, reliable electricity service, and when we had to meet increasing energy demand in Tonawanda, we made a significant investment in our electricity infrastructure to ensure reliability and meet customer needs,” said National Grid regional director Ken Kujawa.


Harmony, N.Y. Substation

The $13 million project provides a more consistent, reliable voltage electric system that serves more than 17,000 customers in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and parts of Allegany and Erie counties.

“The main reason we built the substation is to meet demand and improve reliability for customers in the southwest corner of Chautauqua County,” Kujawa said. “As the region grows, it will play an important role in providing electricity load relief to the existing system.”

Substations are needed whenever electricity needs to be converted from one voltage to another. The new Harmony substation steps down electricity from 115 kV transmission wires to 34.5 kV sub-transmission lines that carry electricity safely to smaller substations that distribute electricity to homes, businesses and other electricity customers.