The demands on the electricity grid in the desert metropolis of Phoenix are enormous: rapid population growth, extreme temperatures and the feed-in of solar energy are just some of the challenges. The hunger for electrical energy is becoming ever greater. To ensure that more electricity flows into the metropolis, the operator of the substation in Maricopa, Electric District 3 (ED3 for short), decided to demolish the old facility and rebuild it from scratch. Because of the special expertise and experience of the Arizona team a contract was awarded to Reinhausen from planning to handing over the keys.
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More power for Phoenix
The hunger for electrical energy in Phoenix, Arizona is growing rapidly. To enable more electricity to flow into the metropolis, Reinhausen has been awarded the contract for the demolition, planning and construction of a new substation.
Growing city, growing demands
Phoenix is growing – rapidly. But that is not the only challenge facing the electricity grids of the metropolis in the middle of the Sonoran Desert in the US state of Arizona. At a whopping 46.7 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit), a new temperature record was measured in the city of millions this year. It's not just the air conditioning systems that are running hot. The demand for water is also growing. And in the drought-stricken desert city, water has to be laboriously brought in from the Colorado River via canals and processed into drinking water using a lot of electrical energy.
With almost 3,900 hours of sunshine a year, Phoenix is one of the sunniest cities in the world. So it's no wonder that the city is also one of the top US cities in terms of solar power production. In 2022, over 340 MW of solar power was fed into the grid there – and the trend continues to rise sharply.
„Phoenix is growing exponentially. We are delighted to be able to support our customers in providing a reliable energy supply in the region.“
Steve Spragg, RM Manager western region
Reinhausen subsidiary builds new substation
"Phoenix's demand for electricity is growing exponentially," says Steve Spragg, who is responsible for the western region at Reinhausen USA. In order to make the Maricopa substation, 20 kilometers from Phoenix, fit for these growing demands, the operator ED3 decided to demolish the old facility and have it completely rebuilt.
Spragg's construction company for substations, formerly ESS, has been fully integrated into the Reinhausen Group since 2016 and therefore benefits from MR's high-quality equipment and expertise. Spragg and his team coordinated the entire project in Maricopa, from demolition to completion.
Trust even under time pressure
For the work on the substation, the entire station was temporarily disconnected from the power supply during the off-season. After demolition, all structural adjustments were made first, followed by the installation of the electrical systems. Because the substation is indispensable for the region, Spragg and his team had to be quick and showed total commitment: "We invested a number of Saturdays and got the project through in around six months." ED3 Assistant General Manager Mike Bristol is also delighted: "With their knowledge and experience in the field of substation construction, we could be sure that our project would be carried out properly and that quality would never be compromised."
"We are delighted that we were able to play our part in ensuring a reliable energy supply in the region," says Spragg. Bristol is also thrilled: "Spragg and his team have proven time and again that they have the necessary skills, knowledge and reliability to successfully implement such complex projects from start to finish."
A new chapter for Maricopa
The old structure has been dismantled
After that, work could begin on installing the new foundations. These included drilled piers and an oil drip tray for the transformer.
Energizing the transformer
By converting the system, the transformer can be energized and begin supplying customers in the region. Other work on the construction site included the laying of above-ground and underground cables and earthing as well as the renewal of the road surface on the site.
Changes of all sizes
New relay panels, an AC/DC system and batteries as well as control cables had to be installed in the wheelhouse.
Handling with care
The construction site consists of various electrical components such as the 69/12.5 kV transformer, 69 kV disconnectors, 69 kV breakers, 12 kV switchgear, etc.
With an eye for detail
RM employees checked all drawings and the work still to be completed in the control building. Final tests and inspections as well as the handover of the site were the last prerequisites.
Challenging schedule, great results
The plant was completed and handed over in June – around six months after the start of construction, just in time.
New opportunities for Phoenix
Turnkey plants, from planning to handover, are supplied by a Reinhausen subsidiary in the USA under the management of Steve Spragg.
If you want to learn more about his work on this project, please visit our customer magazine ONLOAD.