Smithfield Moves Forward With Second Substation Transformer

The Smithfield Town Council has voted to move forward with adding a second transformer to the Brogden Road Power Substation.  When the substation was built 10 years ago, initial plans called for two transformers at the site.  Should one fail, another one would already be in place. The second transformer was never purchased and should the existing transformer have a major failure, it could be days or even weeks before it could be repaired. 

That is a major concern for businesses and residential customers in South Smithfield who receive their power from the Brogden Road Substation.

Smithfield Interim Utilities Director Pete Connet
Smithfield Interim Utilities Director Pete Connet
At a December 8th meeting, the Town Council voted unanimously to prepare plans and specifications for the additional transformer. The work should be completed no later than mid-February. Afterwards the Town will seek bids on the transformer, which is estimated to cost $1.4 million.  Once bids are awarded, it will take up to a year for the transformer to be built and installed.

Pete Connet, Interim Utilities Director, told the Council there were adequate reserves in the Electric Fund Balance to pay for the transformer.  The Town has the option to finance the cost with the first payment being in 2018, but financing the cost was not recommended.       

Due to lower costs for copper and steel, the price for a transformer are at their lowest point in the last 5 years, potentially saving the town 20% if purchased 5 years earlier.  Once installed, each transformer would be capable of carrying the full load of the service area.