TNMP 15kV Factory-Built Substation

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DIS-TRAN’s factory-built substation means installation in a day, even for remote locations.

Serving more than 9,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines to provide more than 243,000 homes and businesses in more than 70 communities throughout Texas, and facing significant retail customer growth, Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP) [RG1] needed to convert a large part of its system in west Texas from 69kV to 138kV.

They came to DIS-TRAN for our factory-built substation, which would help them shorten the schedule and minimize the difficulties of working in such a remote location.

It worked: Chris Gerety, Director of Engineering and Land Services for TNMP, says having the distribution bay factory-built possibly shaved two to three months off their total construction time.

Joe Sandifer, a safety inspector for TechServ who worked on-site for TNMP’s project, agrees. He estimates that a substation that size, erected solely in the field, would typically take weeks to construct, at least. In other words, an installation starting on March 22 would take until early May or later, whereas DIS-TRAN’s installation both started and finished on March 22. Sandifer’s reaction: “I had never seen anything like that before. We always have had to do everything on the job site. It was perfect.”

Based on Gerety’s assessment, given the elimination of material shortages, eradication of alignment issues, and the removal of weather delays, we conservatively estimate that TNMP saw a construction labor savings of $60,000 to $80,000.

TNMP was certainly pleased with the project: “We had a really positive experience and the project was very favorable on our side,” says Gerety.

For an in-depth technical analysis of this project, read our paper “Saving Time and Money: A Case Study of a Texas Utility’s Experience Utilizing A Customized Factory-Built Substation Approach for its Standard Outdoor Open-Air Distribution Substation.”

In 2016, TSDOS (Transmission and Substation Design and Operation Symposium) selected DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations to present a case study on this project. You can watch the presentation by clicking the video link below.

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