Reliability

Final substation conversion in Kyle district a success

The district-wide transition to 14,400 volts has been decades in the making

PEC Regional Operations Manager Rickie Roy doesn’t remember exactly when the Kyle district began converting its substations from 7,200 volts to 14,400 volts — but he knows it’s been at least since the 1980s.

“I remember coming to Kyle and helping with a conversion in 1986,” Roy said. “So it’s been at least a 30-year project to get all of Kyle completed.”

Substation conversions, which increase reliability and load capacity, are enormously time-consuming. The planning alone is a massive endeavor, involving the cooperation and coordination of multiple departments and districts. And in the end, years of work boil down to the implementation: a single stretch of three days in which our crews and contractors work at an impressive pace to change out the equipment and get our members back online as quickly and safely as possible.

“It’s really a team-building thing,” Roy said of the Hunter substation conversion, which upgraded 1,690 transformers and affected 2,590 members near San Marcos. “You wouldn’t believe how many eyes have been on this.”

On Oct. 24-26, more than 160 people, including our substation staff, Kyle district crews, supervisors and contractors, worked together seamlessly to pull of Kyle’s final substation conversion without a hitch.

“There were no injuries, it was done safely and I’m really proud of the way everyone came together,” Roy said.

The upgraded voltage will allow us to powerfully serve our San Marcos members for years to come. There will be less strain on the system, Roy said, even as the area continues to grow, which saves the cooperative money and increases reliability for our members.

“I want to give credit to all of the management, staff, supervisors, PEC Engineering and our Key Accounts group, who hand-delivered notification letters to all commercial businesses in the area,” Roy said. “Anybody here at the Kyle district was one way or the other affected by this final conversion and helped make it a success.”