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Knoxville Utilities Board Energizes New Substation

Tennessee public power utility Knoxville Public Utilities Board on Dec. 1 energized a new substation.

Located in northwest Knoxville, the substation is the tenth Tennessee Valley Authority infeed substation on KUB’s electric system. KUB put electric load on the substation on Dec. 13, 2023.

“As part of our Century II maintenance program, the new substation will provide critical system resiliency so that other infeed stations can receive ongoing infrastructure updates,” KUB noted. “That means we can perform maintenance work on our older substations without an impact to customers -- work that will enhance our electric reliability.”

KUB launched its Century II infrastructure management program in 2007 to improve and maintain the electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater systems for customers.

Century II includes the maintenance and replacement strategies for each system that were in place before Century II and establishes sustainable replacement cycles. “It moves KUB into its second century of service by improving each system through sound planning, resource allocation, and continued, but accelerated, investment,” it notes.

With respect to its electric system, KUB said that it is on a sustainable life-cycle replacement program for poles, overhead wires, and underground cables. “We are also concentrating on our substations, some of which have been in service since the 1940s.”

As it replaces transmission poles, KUB is also adding fiber-optic lines between substations to improve data communication.

As of the end of Fiscal Year 2023, 1,135 poles were replaced in FY23 for a total of approximately 23,000 poles replaced since 2012, nine miles of transmission lines were replaced in FY23 as part of KUB's high voltage transmission system rebuild and KUB's substation modernization efforts are 81 percent complete. These efforts include installation of longer-lasting technology and animal resistant equipment to improve electric reliability.

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