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Mary’s Lake Substation Powered Up

Mayor Bill Pinkham and town employees cut the ribbon

Mayor Bill Pinkham and town employees cut the ribbon

Last Thursday, November 8th, Mayor Pinkham, Town Trustees, the Town Administrator, Deputy Town Administrator and several Town of Estes Park employees attended a ribbon cutting event at the new Mary’s Lake Substation. The event was followed by a brief tour.

Mayor Bill Pinkham cut the ribbon and flipped the switch signaling the official energizing of the new substation.

The new Marys Lake Substation recently went on line in phases. Approximately 30% of the load was put on the transformers on Friday, November 7, and the remainder of the load was put on line on Monday, November 10.

Mayor Bill Pinkham flips the power switch for the first time.

Mayor Bill Pinkham flips the power switch for the first time.

The two 25 megawatt transformers at the upgraded Marys Lake Substation provide redundancy and reliability in the local distribution system by having the exact same capacity as the Estes Park Substation, located at Lake Estes next to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Estes Park hydro-electric plant.

Continuing improvements in the distribution system are scheduled through 2010, including undergrounding while increasing the size of lines in certain areas. These upgrades will prepare Estes Park Light & Power to meet the needs of our customers for years to come.

The old substation at the Marys Lake site was originally constructed sometime in the 1970s with one 10 MW transformer; a second 10 MW transformer was added in the 1980s. Due to the smaller size of these transformers and the age of the switchgear, the Town of Estes Park Trustees approved a plan to upgrade the substation in 2007.

In May of this year, the Marys Lake Substation went off line and the switch gear building containing old and obsolete equipment was demolished. The new transformers were removed that month as well, sold to the City of Loveland for $70,000. The two 25 MW transformers, each weighing more than 80,000 pounds were delivered (on two separate trucks) and installed in July. Hurricane Ike delayed the delivery of the new switchgear building – it was manufactured in Houston – until the end of October. Work was scheduled to be completed before the onset of the colder weather and subsequently, our peak season when the load can be as high as 26 MW due to electric heating.

Platte River Power Authority, having assisted Estes Park Light & Power during the upgrade of the Estes Park Substation in 2000, provided the engineering and expertise for the Marys Lake Substation upgrade. Platte River has also been contracted to perform maintenance on the substations.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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