A project by the City of Banning Electric Utility (BEU) in California that involves moving and relocating a power transformer will result in a number of benefits including saving BEU ratepayers an estimated $500,000 compared to the cost of purchasing a new transformer.
The project began with a 10-year study and recommendation in 2004. The study recommended a distribution system voltage upgrade as well as an upgrade and expansion of BEU’s Airport Substation from 3.75 megawatts (MW) to 10 MW of capacity. These system upgrades would still allow for planned residential growth in the northwest side of town as well as industrial growth around the vicinity of the Banning Municipal Airport on Banning’s southeastern border.
There are three main components to this transformer relocation project.
First, in 2019, was the relocation of the Airport substation to a newly acquired property within the vicinity of the Banning Municipal Airport. The new substation was renamed Ivy, as a special tribute to the granddaughter of the project manager who relocated from Iowa. Second, the new substation will exceed the recommended 10 MW of capacity with 25 MW and the ability to expand up to 50 MW of capacity as needed for industrial growth anticipated in the area. The third component is the downsizing of the Sunset substation from 50 MW capacity to 25 MW with the move of one power transformer from Sunset to Ivy.
Project completion is scheduled for September 1, 2021.
BEU noted that its staff is excited to transition from 1950 mechanical/analog technology to digital distribution automation (1950s technology to 2020) and bring new technology to this former stagecoach town.
Along with ratepayer savings, the project helps better utilize existing transformation equipment and balances transformation capacity across load and system, and provides needed transformation capacity in industrial and airport zoned properties.
While this project has been years in the making, the timing has been perfect as Banning was recently labeled by The Sacramento Bee newspaper as the fastest growing city in California.