In June of 2014, State Electric began working for Black & Veatch on the reconstruction of the 1970’s era Sandy Pond Substation. After over four years of work, our team led by Utility VP Rick Schneider, General Foremen John Cannon and Brian Hubert, and Foremen Nate Daniels and John Faucher, have completed this complex project. Sandy Pond is State Electric’s largest substation contract to date and our team did an outstanding job executing this immense job.
Just to the substation’s northeast is the Sandy Pond HVDC Converter Station, which brings about 2,000 MW of clean energy across a 960-mile, 450kV DC transmission system from the hydroelectric power station located in the James Bay area in northwestern Quebec, Canada. At this converter station, the power is converted from DC to AC and then transmitted into the transmission grid at the Sandy Pond Substation site. The substation is a major switching station with 345kV, 115kV, and 23kV voltage levels that transmits power to over 23 communities in Massachusetts.
The main scope of State Electric’s work was to upgrade/replace and rewire every piece of yard equipment at the preexisting Sandy Pond Substation site. This included the physical replacement of 34 sets of both 345kV and 115kV motor operated and manually disconnected switches (horizontal, vertical, and inverted orientation), six wave traps which are utilized as part of a system that sends high speed relay signals over the existing power lines for line fault protection, 23 CCVT’s, three – 345kV Mitsubishi SF6 insulated breakers, and the refurbishment of six additional SF6 345kV breakers. Another major component of the project was the construction of a new control building that houses new control and relay equipment in a redundant design to meet the constraints of the bulk power substation requirement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Our crew size peaked at 35 workers and all of our work was done by electricians and lineman from Locals 103, 223, 96, and 104. The majority of the project was completed around a fully functioning substation in which an extremely detailed outage plan was developed by State Electric and initiated by the entire project team in order to strategically plan and execute the work. One of the greatest tasks at hand was to complete all of the work without an errant trip to an existing circuit which would have caused power outages to the utility’s customers. During the final walk-through with the owner, our team was commended for their arduous work effort that resulted in completing all of the required tasks without a single circuit trip. State Electric also served as the prime contractor on the project and oversaw the work of Bond Brothers for the civil activities, Crocker Building for the erection of the new control building, United Power Group for the testing, and US Securities for off-hour site security.
As with all State Electric’s projects, the safety of our employees is absolutely paramount. Site Safety Representative Carol Remse worked closely with the site team throughout the duration of the project to ensure nothing was overlooked and everyone on the project team met all of the safety requirements. Over 180,000 project man-hours were logged, with over 133,000 direct site man-hours performed by State Electric employees and our subcontractors with only ONE first aid case. On a major substation project like Sandy Pond, that is a true accomplishment and a testament to State Electric’s safety culture.