Nearly $8 million in additions and improvements to the National Grid electrical network are underway in Niagara County, the company announced Thursday.
Work is underway on substations in the towns of Wilson and Cambria that will improve reliability for customers and add capacity for economic growth.
Joining National Grid in announcing the projects were Town of Wilson Supervisor Joseph Jastrzemski, Town of Cambria Supervisor Wright Ellis, Niagara County Legislature Chairman William Ross, Legislator David Godfrey and Niagara USA Chamber President Deanna Brennan.
National Grid is rebuilding the substation on Lake Street in Wilson to bring the facility up to modern standards, improve service reliability and restoration, and expand its overall capacity. The old station is being completely dismantled, so a mobile unit has been installed temporarily until the new equipment is in place.
The Wilson project is expected to be completed later this year, with a final in-service date in early spring 2016. Total project cost is estimated at $2.75 million.
In Cambria, National Grid is expanding its existing station on Shawnee Road near Route 31, again to improve reliability and increase capacity. The Shawnee station provides service throughout much of southern Niagara County and into northern Erie County. Growth in these areas has stretched existing infrastructure to near-capacity, so the station expansion will provide necessary relief and room for future growth.
The Cambria project is estimated at about $5 million and construction work should be complete in the spring, with an in-service date of early summer 2016.
"These investments in electrical infrastructure are reflective of National Grid's commitment to meet the energy needs of our residential and commercial customers," said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid in the region. "This is especially true in communities that are growing in our service territory, including these areas of Niagara and Erie counties."
Both the Wilson and Shawnee stations transform, or step-down, electricity delivered through high-voltage transmission lines into lower voltage "feeder" lines that make their way both overhead and underground through neighborhoods and bring electricity directly to customers. Depending on configuration, feeders typically serve several hundred to more than a thousand customers at a time.
When completed, the new stations and the lines will represent another multimillion-dollar commitment by National Grid to the Western New York service territory. Over the past five years, National Grid has committed more than $1.6 billion in growing and improving its electric network across upstate New York, with an additional $1.6 billion anticipated to be invested over the next three years.