Tucson Electric Power to invest about $260m this year in electric transmission, distribution

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) on May 10 said that it has invested about $1bn over the last five years to upgrade infrastructure and make other improvements to continue providing reliable service for customers, and that it plans to invest about $260m this year in electric transmission and distribution facilities, as well as other resources.

TEP said that its crews and contractors recently completed construction of the $14m, 138-kV Orange Grove substation on the southwest corner of West Orange Grove and North La Canada roads. That project will alleviate potential overload conditions during summer months at three nearby substations, TEP said.

A TEP spokesperson on May 11 told TransmissionHub that primary construction of the substation was completed in April, although there was some testing the week of April 30.

TEP said in its statement that the new substation houses a transformer that reduces the voltage of electric current from TEP’s 138-kV transmission system for delivery to area customers. TEP said that the substation – which is equipped with state-of-the-art breakers and protection equipment to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages – will also interconnect existing 138-kV transmission lines and help meet customer energy needs in the fast-growing area.

Crews have also completed a $10m upgraded at TEP’s Vail substation near Interstate 10 and South Rita Road, TEP said, adding that the work included installing new breakers, electrical switches, protective devices, and communications equipment. The improvements help to reduce power outages by expanding the ability of electric system supervisors to remotely operate electrical equipment, TEP said.

The spokesperson noted that that work was completed in 2Q18.

TEP said in its statement that crews have nearly completed a $2.8m upgrade of an existing 138-kV transmission line that connects TEP’s North Loop substation, located near West Tangerine Road and Interstate 10, to the Rancho Vistoso substation, located near East Tangerine Road and North Copper Mountain Drive.

Of the North Loop to Rancho Vistoso 138-kV line, the spokesperson said that construction is complete and that the line is energized.

TEP is in the process “of removing equipment and general clean up,” the spokesperson said.

Crews replaced more than 60 power poles, TEP said in its statement, adding that installation of stronger and higher-capacity conductors continues along Tangerine Road in Marana, Oro Valley, and unincorporated areas of Pima County.

TEP also noted that crews recently completed a $2.4m upgrade of the Rancho Vistoso substation, where new high-voltage circuit breakers, electrical switches, and other equipment will accommodate the transmission line upgrade.

In the Midvale Park neighborhood, crews are upgrading and installing new overhead and underground lines as part of a nearly $1m upgrade of electrical equipment that delivers electric service to customers in the area, TEP said. That work will take place along and near West Irvington and South Midvale Park roads over the next several weeks, TEP said, adding that those improvements will help prevent overload conditions, while providing greater flexibility to system operators.

Those sub-transmission lines are tied into TEP’s Mission and Midvale substations, the spokesperson said.

TEP said in its statement that crews recently completed a $1m upgrade of an existing 138-kV transmission line that connects TEP’s Irvington substation, near East Irvington Road and South Alvernon Way, to the 22nd Street substation, located near East 22nd Street and South Columbus Boulevard. Crews installed three new poles, as well as stronger and higher-capacity conductors along a 3.5-mile route, TEP said. The improvements will expand TEP’s ability to deliver service to customers in the area, particularly during the summer when demand for power is highest, TEP said.

The spokesperson noted that that $1m upgrade of the Irvington to 22nd Street 138-kV transmission line was completed at the end of February.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.