Sandy Pond Substation Project Nears Completion
BEDFORD, MA (November, 2017)- Back in April of 2014, State Electric was awarded a contract for work on the Sandy Pond Substation Project by Black and Veatch who was awarded an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contract from National Grid. The award represents SEC’s largest single substation contract to date. The project consists of the reconstruction on a 1970’s era station to transform it into a modern NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) secure site with 100% wiring redundancy. Sandy Pond, located in Ayer Massachusetts, is a major North/South – East/West Transmission Switching Station with 345kV, 115kV and 23kV voltage levels. The station receives as much as 2000MW of Hydro-produced power from its sister station located just to the northeast of our project via the Sandy Pond HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) Station. That southern-most station receives power transmitted at 450kV DC from 915 miles to our north in the James Bay Area of Northern Quebec. It converts the DC to AC, and inputs the power into the Transmission Grid at the National Grid Sandy Pond site.
State Electric’s scope of work includes coordination, labor, and management of the site’s subcontractors which requires a high level of technical and management skills. Work began back in June of 2014 with the outage planning by our in-house planner Harris Robinson. Site mobilization began in March 2015, after one of the worst snowfall winters in New England history. General Foreman John Cannon, Foremen Brian Hubert and Nate Daniel have worked with Local 103, 223, 96 and 104 electricians to do an outstanding job on this complex project. This same management team has been overseeing the work of various subcontractors including Bond Brothers who is performing the civil work and United Power Group who is doing the testing. The project is approximately 90% complete and must be finished by September 2018 to meet the outage milestone date.
Construction began with the installation of a new control building with all new control and relay equipment, along with the upgrade or replacement and rewiring of all of the yard equipment. While all this work was going on it was critical that the substation remained in full use and there wasn’t an interruption in service. Through five step by step outage plans designed by State, each occurring in either the spring or fall months of lower power demand periods, our personnel meticulously replaced, upgraded and rewired each breaker, disconnect switch, CCVT, Wave Trap and transformer within the station. This work entailed the implementation of an extensive temporary control and relay wiring scheme to tie the existing control building with the new, to maintain the substations function ability.
As with all State projects, the safety of our employees is of the utmost concern. To meet the needs of the project we subcontracted, The Lawson Group to provide a full-time site safety manager to work in conjunction with John Balboni who is State’s Safety Manager. He along with the Site Safety Representative Carol Remse (from the Lawson Group) worked closely with the site team to ensure nothing was overlooked and all our people and our subcontractor’s people worked safely. 87,000 man hours have been performed by State employees and our subcontractors and there has only been ONE first aid case to date. This is a testament to the Safety First/Every Man Goes Home Safe motto.
John Cannon and the rest of the crew have done a remarkable job on this monumental Substation project and we can’t thank everyone enough for their excellent work!