Cooperative News

Power reliability on wheels

When big equipment goes down, our mobile substations roll out and save the day

From electrical storms and downed trees to vehicle accidents and animal interference, outages come in all sizes and from a wide variety of causes. With our powerful infrastructure and expert crews, we take pride in getting your lights back on quickly. But when a major transformer in a substation fails, it’s time to call for backup.

Meet PEC’s three mobile substations. Weighing up to 180,000 pounds, each mobile unit is a condensed version of a full functioning substation and is ready to hit the road to supply power to thousands of members at a moment’s notice.

“It’s a complete substation on wheels,” PEC Substation & Transmission Maintenance Director Jerry Bible said. “And it’s key to our reliability. If a substation transformer goes down, it takes at least 24 hours just to diagnose the issue, which would leave thousands of people without power for days. With the mobile units, we can hook one up to an 18-wheeler and roll it out to the substation, where it will get everybody’s lights back on while we perform necessary maintenance.”

Outside of emergency outage conditions, the mobile units serve an enormous role in system reliability, allowing PEC staff to perform wide-scale voltage conversions, maintenance, and construction projects in and around substations without the lights even blinking.

Most of all, said PEC Substation Maintenance Manager Mike Brinkman, the presence of the mobile units in our fleet is another key piece of the reliability PEC takes pride in.

“No matter what happens when the power goes out, we have a backup plan and are ready to go,” Brinkman said. “We have the manpower, the equipment, and the expertise to get your power back on as quickly and safely as possible.”