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End of summer sees ED5 Substation upgrades 60% complete, Test Track expansion begin

by Jen Neville

ED5_ThorntonRoad_tline_complete
In the background stands the completed ED5-to-Thornton Road transmission line. The line is expected to be energized next spring from the ED5 substation. In the foreground, construction contractors are staging rebar cages at ED5 Substation for foundation construction in September 2013. (Photo by Ralph McCracken)

See more photos in Western's ED5 Flickr set.
As summer set in Pinal County, Arizona, the Electrical District 5-Palo Verde Hub Project progressed with construction work at two substations—ED5 and Test Track.

“It’s been about 10 months since we started construction for this project. We already have the new Western line built and a majority of the substation equipment has been procured and delivered,” said Western Project Manager Todd Rhoades.

Between April and September, construction crews broke ground for expanding the Test Track Substation and completed 60 percent of the upgrades needed at ED5 Substation.

“This project brings benefits to Western’s TIP program and Western’s Parker-Davis customers. It is an exciting project to be part of, and I really appreciate the continued hard work and focus of all of those across the Region and across Western that are keeping it on track,” said Western’s Desert Southwest Regional Manager Darrick Moe.

“I am very pleased with the project progress and look forward to the successful completion of this project, which is important to Western’s TIP Office and Desert Southwest Region,” said TIP Acting Manager Tracey LeBeau.

ED5 expansion on schedule
Contractor crews continued expansion efforts at ED5 Substation this summer, adding a new control building, cable trench and a new bus configuration to interconnect the new 230-kilovolt line. “They’re continuing to progress along on schedule,” said Rhoades. The substation upgrades are expected to be complete by April 2014.

Crews set Test Track foundations
At the midway point of the project’s transmission line, construction crews started expanding the Test Track Substation yard in July. With a majority of the equipment already purchased and onsite, contractors have poured pads for equipment and installed rebar for the new yard’s retainer walls. The construction at Test Track is expected to be complete in summer 2014. “The crews are planning to continue work through the fall and winter months,” said Rhoades.

Next steps for the project include:

  • Finish upgrades at substations
  • Salt River Project to: 
    • add the Thornton Road-to-Test Track line
    • expand its substation and upgrade the Southeast Valley Project 500-kV line