Cross Roads substation comes on line

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Cross Roads substation


In late April, a reason to celebrate came to fruition at Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. The occasion that triggered the celebration was the energizing of the cooperative’s new Cross Roads substation in eastern Pickens County. This event brought down the curtain on a project that, since its inception, had been delayed for nearly two decades. Some difficulties in securing a route for the transmission line that would feed the planned substation were the main hold-up. With the transmission issues finally resolved last year, work on the station could begin in earnest. In a matter of a few months, with its 15-KVA transformer capacity and its four main three-phase distribution circuits, the facility became a done deal. Meanwhile, crews from Central Electric Power Cooperative, wholesale-energy provider for Blue Ridge, constructed the 1.7-mile 100-KV transmission line that now supplies the substation. The imperative for erecting this unit was the growth that had been occurring within the Cross Roads community. As a result of that growth, the area had developed into an electrical-load center, making it a desirable location for its own substation. Through alterations to the cooperative’s distribution power lines in the vicinity, groups of members served by four existing substations were shifted onto the Cross Roads system. The Dacusville, Easley, Enon, and Pickens substations all saw some of their members transferred to the new facility. At present, Cross Roads is providing power to 1,533 co-op members. However, some scheduled improvements to a nearby distribution line will eventually add to that number another 100 or so members from the Pickens substation system. Blue Ridge President and CEO Jim Lovinggood expressed his sense of gratitude and relief in seeing the project come to a satisfying conclusion. “There are any number of positives that are related to this undertaking, and I’ll cite just a couple of them. For one, these many members now find themselves situated physically closer to their source of central-station power. That should translate into an enhanced level of service reliability for all of them. Secondly, the reconfiguring of the affected power lines has created some added back-feeding capabilities to this part of our Blue Ridge power grid. Under certain circumstances such as storm-related destruction, back-feeding will enable co-op crews to restore service sooner to members, while proceeding with making repairs to any damaged facilities.” Lovinggood went on to explain that the cooperative and its employee team had an ongoing commitment to keep getting better at what they do. “This Cross Roads project is but one tangible symbol related to our goal of providing ever-improving quality service. During the next several years, both Blue Ridge and Central Electric will be making further major investments in our power-delivery network. We’ll take on these new projects with a view toward raising members’ satisfaction to new heights.”