Tucson, Ariz. (March 9, 2017) – Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is making significant investments in the local electric system to help expand renewable energy resources, support economic growth, accommodate public improvement projects and strengthen service reliability for customers.
Over the last five years, TEP has invested more than $1.3 billion to upgrade TEP’s transmission and distribution system, develop new programs and make other improvements to better meet the needs of its customers. TEP plans to invest more than $300 million this year alone in electric infrastructure and other resources that support safe, reliable service.
TEP crews have completed construction of a 2-mile feeder line that connects the Vail Substation near Interstate 10 and South Rita Road to the new 10-MW battery storage facility and accompanying 2-MW solar array at the UA Tech Park. The storage system is expected to be completed in the spring. The $1.2 million line construction project will connect the storage system to our local electric grid, helping us maintain reliability by balancing energy demand and supply.
TEP crews also are in the final stages of a nearly $2.5 million project to accommodate the realignment of Hughes Access Road. Workers installed nearly 80 new power poles last year to relocate an existing 46-kilovolt (kV) line along a 4-mile stretch of the new Aerospace Parkway. This month, crews completed the removal of about 50 poles and other obsolete equipment along the old route.
TEP expects to invest approximately $1.4 million this year to replace segments of aging underground power cables that deliver electric service to local homes and businesses. Crews recently finished replacing a half-mile span near the Snyder Substation, located at North Kolb and East Snyder roads. Additional underground cable replacements are planned in southern Tucson near South Campbell Avenue and East Irvington Road and in midtown near the El Con Mall.
Transmission crews are installing new fiber optic cables that will allow system supervisors to more quickly and reliably restore service during power outages by remotely operating equipment. The $680,000 project includes the installation of communications equipment between the La Canada substation, located at North La Canada and West Hardy Road, and the Rillito Substation, located near North Oracle and West River roads. Equipment will be installed on transmission poles that support an existing 138-kV transmission line.
Later this year, TEP crews will relocate nearly 30 power poles and more than 6,000 feet of overhead power lines near Interstate 10 and West Ina Road to accommodate the ongoing reconstruction of that interchange. Crews also will install new facilities to connect overhead power lines to underground equipment in a $1.2 million project that will continue through the end of the year.
These projects will upgrade a robust electrical system that spans 1,155 square miles. TEP’s system includes approximately 5,100 miles of transmission and distribution lines, more than 4,300 cable-miles of underground distribution lines and nearly 100,000 power poles and transmission structures.
Source: Tucson Electric Power