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Metro Prepares to Power up

Drivers and riders on I-270 may have noticed the import of fill material has been completed in the field east of the Administration Building at Metro’s main treatment facility. If you wondered what those dirt piles were all about, read on to find out how Metro is preparing to power up to meet future treatment needs.

Board Approved IGA

Last Tuesday, Metro’s Board of Directors authorized Mickey Conway to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Adams County to begin constructing an electrical transmission-level service substation on the Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility (Hite).

The Adams County Board of Commissioners will review the IGA in March. In conjunction with the IGA, Adams County will issue an Areas and Activities of State Interest (1041) permit for the construction.

Reasons for Substation

Having on-site transmission-level capabilities is typical for facilities that are similar in size to Hite. This project will transition Hite from distribution-level (13.2 kV) electrical service to a transmission-level (115 kV) service. Once the IGA is approved and the 1041 permit issued, Metro will construct the switchyard and substation and re-feed all loads from the new substation. 

The benefits of installing the substation are many and are notable:

  • Provide capacity to meet future power needs  
  • Provides additional expansion capability
  • Enhance reliability to 99.9 percent
  • Reduce electricity costs by ~15 percent a year
  • Enhance operability including internal power management
  • Minimize outages
  • Replace the Northwest and Northeast Switchgear Facilities, which have reached capacity

So What Were the Dirt Piles about?

Metro entered into a Construction Services Agreement with PCL Construction, Inc., to execute Work Package #1. This work procured critical path items and raised the switchyard and substation site above the floodplain prior to construction. The import material raised the construction site approximately 6 feet, sloping to 4 feet.

I-270 travelers — you’ll be seeing more activity on this site later this year. We’ll let you know on this Currents blog when we start up the new substation.

a photo of the construction site.
Fill material imported to raise the substation site out of the floodplain, with I-270 in the background

​​​​​​​”The benefit of the substation is we will have almost no outages and will eliminate power losses from a car hitting equipment or rodents chewing through lines out in Xcel’s system, for example. This new substation will be fed straight from the Cherokee plant across the street.”

Ben Ruder, Metro Project Manager

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