Electric substations serve critical functions in our electric infrastructure. Substations have their origins in the early days of large-scale electric distribution, and they continue to play an important role. That’s also true for large-scale renewable projects and for projects using non-renewable sources. At Blymyer, we have extensive experience engineering electric substations, and we have a strong team dedicated to leading substation design.
Most substations transform voltage from low to high or vice versa, with the power flowing to or from the transmission grid. For instance, a utility-scale solar or wind project would typically include a collector substation to increase the voltage of the generated electricity as it moves to the transmission grid. A distribution substation reduces the voltage as electricity moves from the transmission grid to the distribution system. The recently completed AL Solar A project highlights our substation design capabilities.
Reaching for renewable energy goals
Located in Chambers County, Alabama, and owned by Centaurus Renewable Energy, the AL Solar A project is among the largest solar projects in the state of Alabama. As a 72-megawatt facility, the project is expected to generate enough power to meet the needs of more than 18,000 homes. Retailer Walmart is under contract to purchase the energy produced, which will help the company realize its renewable energy goals.
Blymyer delivered the complete and detailed design of the project’s substation. In addition to designing the 115-34.5kv substation for AL Solar A, Blymyer provided electrical, utility, and structural engineering on the photovoltaic project. AL Solar A covers about 1,100 acres and includes more than 330,000 solar panels. Electricity generated by the solar panels will pass through the substation before moving into the transmission grid.
“Our substation team developed and delivered a design that suited the needs of the project,” says Blymyer President Mike Rantz. “We worked with frequent construction partner Swinerton on the project. From the initial development to physical layouts through completion, the Blymyer substation team’s expertise helped ensure that the project would successfully meet its goals.”