For immediate release: March 7, 2019
Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is upgrading power lines, substations and other components of our local electrical system to help meet future energy needs and improve service reliability for customers.
Over the last five years, TEP has invested approximately $1.6 billion to upgrade infrastructure and make other improvements to maintain safe, reliable service for its growing customer base. The company added more than 10,000 new customers since 2015. Tucson’s current job growth rate of 2.7 percent surpasses the national average, with more than 10,300 jobs added in 2018. TEP plans to invest about $300 million this year alone in electric transmission and distribution facilities and other resources.
TEP employees continue work on a $5.2 million upgrade of overhead distribution lines and underground equipment that deliver electric service to customers near North Country Club Road between East Broadway and East Speedway boulevards. Crews will replace nearly two dozen wooden poles with new metal poles, upgrade underground cables and install new pole-mounted equipment. These improvements, which will increase electrical capacity for customers in the area, started in January and are expected to continue for several months.
Crews are also working nearby on a $2 million upgrade of the Sparkman Substation, located near East Grant and North Country Club roads. Crews recently installed a new transformer, relays and switchgear, replacing some equipment that was installed in the 1960s. The project is expected to be completed in May.
Work continues on a $6.1 million upgrade of the North Loop Substation, located east of Interstate 10 between Avra Valley Road and Twin Peaks Road. Improvements will include a new transformer, upgrades to adjacent underground facilities, and the replacement of three wooden poles with new metal poles. A new retaining wall also will be built at the eastern end of the property. This work is expected to continue through the end of the year.
Crews also are preparing to install a temporary mobile substation near Interstate 19 and West Ajo Road within the next few months to support the construction of new facilities that will strengthen electric service for customers. TEP will search within a nearby project study area to find a suitable site for a new, permanent substation.
These substation improvements are designed to expand the capacity of local electric infrastructure, improving reliability by reducing the stress placed on existing circuits and helping TEP to keep up with increasing peak load requirements. The new facilities also will support nearby commercial development.
Crews also are preparing to relocate more than 60 power poles and other structures that support 46 kilovolt (kV) and 13.8-kV lines to accommodate a road-widening project on North La Cholla Boulevard, between West Overton and West Tangerine roads. Work on the $2.3 million effort is expected to be completed in April.
TEP’s modern electrical grid spans 1,155 square miles and includes approximately 5,100 miles of transmission and distribution lines, more than 4,300 cable-miles of underground distribution lines and nearly 100,000 power poles and transmission structures.
TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 425,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit fortisinc.com.
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