Aging substations to be replaced with $125M project
Oregon — The Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) has announced plans to replace 10 substations over the next decade as part of its Capital Investment Plan to update its electric grid and bring its aging infrastructure up to modern standards. The Currin substation, which is the “Grand Central Station” of EWEB’s electrical grid, will be the first substation to be replaced at a cost of $14.8 million due to its complete overhaul. The new facility will be more efficient and stable, with seismic upgrades to meet modern earthquake standards.
Project costs for all 10 substations total $125 million, which will be funded by multiple sources including customer rates, bonds and grants. The Capital Investment Plan for major infrastructure investments begins this year and sunsets in 2032, with the budget being renewed annually by the organization’s board of commissioners.
Substations play a crucial role in the electric grid by taking high-voltage power and converting it into lower voltages that are safe to distribute to homes and businesses. Many of Eugene’s substations were built in the 1970s, and now nearing the end of their useful life, they no longer meet modern systematic expectations. EWEB’s plan is to rebuild the substations, which will last for over 50 years, with minimal impact on customers.
The Currin substation, which is located near Garden Way and Interstate 105, will undergo construction for about a year, and it is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024.
Rebuilding the substations is necessary to address aging infrastructure, and the overall design does not meet modern standards. By making better use of space and creating a more efficient layout, EWEB can significantly improve the stability of the substations.