New-Build, High-Voltage Substation Commissioning

The Challenge

Commissioning for New-Build, High-Voltage Substation

Southern California Edison completed construction of a new build 500/230kV substation to support multiple solar and wind farm projects in development in the area. The substation project was intended to help connect the First Solar Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, and future renewable-power projects, to the Southern California Edison transmission grid. The Utility required a load to allow commissioning and testing of the protection system for the new, high voltage substation. They needed a solution that would provide 14MW of load at 220kV.

The Solution

Medium-Voltage Resistive Load Bank Package

The Utility hired ComRent to deliver a successful load bank solution. The team identified that there was another nearby substation perfectly positioned to aid with testing. The Red Bluff substation is in an area defined by state and federal agencies as rich in solar-energy resources, where several renewable-power generation projects are in development and the company needed to test and commission both its Red Bluff and Colorado River Substations.

Coordinated with a team of ten vendors, ComRent engineered a custom load bank, High Voltage Transformer, and circuit breaker isolation system for its highest voltage test ever (15MW resistive load). ComRent supplied the right load testing equipment for both substation projects and completed the substation commissioning successfully.

ComRent provided a 220kV load bank system for testing prior to connecting the substations to the grid. The equipment list included:

  • Avtron CR922A load banks
  • VanTran 3.5MVA 4160V:480V transformer
  • Avtron K975A load bank
  • 7 bay 15kV switchgear apparatus that includes (4) fused disconnects and (1) 3000A breaker

In addition to the big iron, ComRent provided ancillary equipment for safe jobsite conditions:

  • Spill containment – in the event of fluid leaking, such as oils, diesel fuel and gasoline, the spill containment eliminated the potential for environmental damage.
  • TrakMats – this equipment kept trailers from getting stuck in the gravel, sand and dirt.
  • Traffic Delineators, Caution Tape and Warning Signage – Proper identification of dangerous areas around the load bank system kept on-site personnel aware and safe.

The Impact

Accelerated Export to the Grid

Having met or exceeded all deadlines, ComRent safely executed all logistics and operations in the HV environment and successfully completed all required testing and commissioning. Southern California Edison successfully corrected settings and calibration without putting transmission assets at risk.

Contact a Load Bank Expert


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