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