BPU Upgrades Transformer

Reliable electricity is often mentioned as one of the major assets of living and doing business in the city of Jamestown.

According to David L. Leathers, Jamestown Board of Public Utilities general manager, electric reliability is the result of local, daily planning undertaken by BPU employees throughout the year. One of the more recently completed electric projects is expected to maintain and improve reliability at the BPU Dow Street substation where the BPU interconnects with the National Grid’s transmission system.

The BPU has installed a new 30 MVa substation transformer for Dow Street. The $800,000 piece of equipment, supplied by Delta Star, replaced a 1976 Federal Pacific transformer.

The total project took just more than a year, from the time the bids were written and approved; to the manufacture, installation, testing and final commissioning of the transformer.

Chris Rodgers, transmission and distribution supervisor, and Dave Paterniti, electrical engineer, led the project with assistance from Kristofor Sellstrom, junior electric engineer, along with BPU employees from both the electric and water divisions.

Work included removing and selling the old transformer, adapting the foundation for the unit and construction of an oil containment area around the transformer. A new main circuit breaker also was installed for control of the transformer.

Paterniti explains that the old transformer did not integrate well with the other two transformer units presently at the Dow Street substation.

As a result, the transformers would not function well together. This situation could cause electric loading problems if all three of the units needed to be run at the same time. The transformer replacement will allow for the shutdown of any one of the three transformers for maintenance, with less concern about overloading the remaining transformers at the station.

Rodgers notes that the project was executed for system reliability and to meet the needs for future electrical demand.

Leathers congratulated Rodgers, Paterniti and all employees involved in the work.

“The improvement of the Dow Street substation signifies a major step in the BPU’s efforts to maintain our reliability in providing power to our electric territory,” said Leathers. “Thanks to all BPU employees who worked to improve our system through this accomplishment.”