Voltage Conversion About Halfway Completed; Part of BPW Electrical System Upgrade
Auburn Board of Public Works (BPW) continues switching the balance of the city to a 7,200 volt circuit. It is part of the electrical distribution system upgrade approved by the board in November 2017, General Manager Dave Hunter said. Hunter said the work started shortly following board approval. It has been continuing throughout the summer. As of Thursday, Aug. 30, about 50 percent of the conversion has been completed. The conversion should be finished in about a year, the general manager continued.
The 4,160 volt circuit is being eliminated, Hunter said. The higher voltage conversion allows BPW to gain some efficiencies. It is the first of a three-phase project. Also involved in the electrical upgrade will be line rebuilds and an improved substation. The anticipated cost is $3.5 million, being financed by the utility’s reserves. It is a three-year project. Recommendations on the upgrade were included in the final reports of the 2010 Electric System Review and the 2016 Arc Flash Study. They are based on facility age and condition, safety and code compliance and future planning. The latter includes improvements in efficiency and reliability
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