A large 333 megavolt-ampere transformer weighing in at 366,000 pounds traveled by rail car from Montgomery, Ala., to St. Cloud, Minn., where it was loaded on a football-field-length truck last week.
This massive truck and trailer traveled another 35 miles during late night hours along backroads from St. Cloud to Freeport where it was safely delivered at 2 a.m. to the new Great River Energy Riverview Substation.
This $16.1 million transmission project is needed to help with resilience and reliability in the area. The area has seen winter overload conditions, which prompted the need to add voltage support.
The Riverview project includes building a 345/115/69-kilovolt (kV) substation by adding two large power transformers and breakers. The substation is uniquely positioned such that Great River Energy could easily tap the 345-kV CapX2020 line and reduce line construction costs.
The project will also help create an additional fiber path between St. Cloud and Alexandria. This will enable a future path for substation communications and help bolster telecommunications.
As part of the environmental restoration process, native habitat will be planted around the substation once construction is complete. A new prairie will sprout – including blooms such as milkweed, clover and big bluestem – which will provide several environmental benefits.
The project is expected to be completed in February 2019.