Innovative mobile substation helps keep the lights on - Great River Energy

Innovative mobile substation helps keep the lights on

In an era where electricity plays an indispensable role in our daily lives, maintaining a reliable and robust power grid is important.

To help tackle this challenge, innovative solutions like mobile substations can enhance the resilience of distribution networks. These units are equipped with transformers, circuit breakers, protective relays and other necessary equipment to step down high-voltage electricity to levels suitable for distribution.

As a versatile, self-contained unit designed to provide temporary power supply, a mobile substation can be used as a temporary resource to avoid outages due to maintenance.

Last fall, East Central Energy was able to take advantage of the benefits of this innovation when electric load was transferred from the cooperative’s Isle Substation to a mobile substation.

“Our power supplier, Great River Energy, needed to complete some work on our shared permanent substation in Isle,” said East Central Energy Construction and Maintenance Supervisor Joe Diethelm. “This was a great way for Great River Energy to get some work done on the substation while avoiding a prolonged outage for members.”

The mobile unit was in place for about a month. After work was complete, crews safely removed the temporary substation and re-energized the permanent Isle substation.

“The unit was installed on a Friday and powered up the following Monday. Essentially, we de-energized the line feeding into the permanent Isle sub, then set a temporary pole to feed the mobile unit. Next, we energized the mobile sub and shut down the substation,” Diethelm said.

Great River Energy has mobile substations in place specifically for uses like this. Great River Energy and others in the industry are exploring other innovative ways to use mobile technologies.

“This was a flexible and efficient solution for our power supplier and our members, underscoring the importance we place on power reliability,” Diethelm said.

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