Transformer to be online by mid-February

Workers construct the frame of a mini-substation Friday at the Capacitor Bank Substation on Youngs Road in Morgan City. The mini-substation will connect the city’s new 112-megawatt transformer to the city’s fiber optic loop, Morgan City Utilities Director Bill Cefalu said.
(The Daily Review Photo by Courtney Darce)

By ZACHARY FITZGERALD zfitzgerald@daily-review.com

Workers constructed the framework of a mini-substation at the city’s Capacitor Bank Substation on Youngs Road Friday as part of an effort to complete a fiber-optic loop, Morgan City Utilities Director Bill Cefalu said.
The mini-substation will connect the city’s new transformer to the loop, Cefalu said.
Cefalu expects the fiber optic loop to be completed by June or July, he said. The city’s new transformer, which is in place at the Capacitor Bank Substation, should be online by mid-February unless the weather disrupts work, he said. The freeze held up getting the project started and set construction back a few weeks, he said.
“We’re not stopping until we hook up the transformer. Everything’s in place. All we’ve got to do is construct,” Cefalu said.
The new 112-megawatt transformer has been in place at the Capacitor Bank Substation since Aug. 24. Workers are installing a 69kV breaker in front of the transformer that will provide protection for the transformer to help prevent an event similar to the June 2012 transformer explosion and fire in Morgan City.
The city’s transformer currently in use at the Joseph Cefalu Sr. Steam Plant will be used as a backup transformer once the new transformer goes online.
In December, the City Council extended a 2.25 mil power bill surcharge to go through the end of 2014 to help pay for the cost of completing the city’s fiber optic loop. The surcharge was originally passed in December 2012 to pay to install a 69 kV breaker in front of the new transformer.
Completing the fiber optic loop in the city will increase power reliability and allow the city to isolate certain sections of the city when a power issue arises instead of affecting the entire city, Cefalu said.

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