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New Trenton substation energized

After several years of planning and construction, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services' new Trenton substation was energized on Jan. 29.

Located just west of Hager City, along Hwy. 35, Trenton is the co-op's 11th station and brings improved electric service reliability to more than 350 Pierce Pepin members in the Hager City and Diamond Bluff areas. The co-op is based in Ellsworth.

"With increased growth and demand for energy in this area, we were concerned about the impact the added load was having on the Trimbelle substation that previously provided power to the area. Distance was also a factor, with the electric lines from the Trimbelle station stretching about 10 miles to provide power to these members," explained Jeff Olson, the vice president of engineering and information technology for Pierce Pepin.

"Service reliability and power quality were issues we needed to address in the Diamond Bluff and Hager City areas, but continued growth and demand would eventually affect all members served by the Trimbelle station. After considering our options, a new substation was the best way to assure our members of reliable electric service well into the future. The Trenton substation also offers the co-op more flexibility for switching loads in emergency situations, another critical part of providing safe, reliable electric service."

Substations convert electricity carried by high voltage transmission lines to a safer, lower voltage before it is delivered to homes and businesses through the cooperative's distribution lines.

The Trenton substation project was a joint effort between Pierce Pepin and the co-op's wholesale power provider, Dairyland Power Cooperative. Construction began during the first week of June with clearing of the substation site. The project was completed when the station was energized. The entire cost, including the substation, construction of the transmission lines and system upgrades, came in just under $1 million.

Pierce Pepin's substations are owned and maintained by Dairyland Power Cooperative. The Nugget Lake substation, energized in 1989, was the last station built to service Pierce Pepin members.