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Black & Veatch upgrading key component of transmission network serving 324,000 Connecticut electric utility customers

Work will ensure reliability and reduce maintenance costs of switching station

The United Illuminating Company (NYSE: UIL) has selected Black & Veatch Construction, Inc. (Black & Veatch) to modernize a critical component of its transmission network that serves more than 324,000 electricity customers in southwestern Connecticut. The Grand Avenue switching station, located on four-acres in New Haven, Conn., is a key part of the overall New England transmission network that serves more than 14 million customers across the northeast region of the United States.

Seven major electric transmission lines converge at the Grand Avenue switching station, which was completed in 1975. The age of the equipment, configuration of the station, and changing industry standards all contribute to the significant need to modernize the station’s facilities.

“Grand Avenue is an integral part of UI’s transmission system,” said Elizabeth Gandza, a Senior Project Manager at UI. “These upgrades are not only necessary, but will ensure reliability to our customers. The challenge will be implementing the new technology in a historical and operating switchyard on a very aggressive schedule.”

Black & Veatch is providing complete engineering, procurement and construction services for the approximately $60 million modernization project that involves developing a new, indoor switching facility that uses gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) technology. The project will also involve the reconfiguration of four overhead and three underground transmission lines.

“GIS technology is becoming more viable in the United States as utilities work to fit more infrastructure into existing and limited spaces. It also has the added benefit of being contained within a building structure that reduces visual impact as well as exposure to harsh weather and other environmental factors,” said Arron Lewis, Black & Veatch Project Manager.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2012.


Editor’s Notes:

  • The $60 million project cost estimate is referenced from the ISO-NE Planning Advisory Committee’s Sept. 30, 2009, update.
  • The existing 115-kiloVolt (kV) open-air facility is located on UI’s existing property at 520 Grand Avenue in New Haven, Conn. The facility is the termination point for seven 115-kV transmission lines (four overhead and three underground).
  • The new, 115-kV GIS switching station will be completely contained within UI’s existing property.
  • The facility will be arranged in a breaker and a half configuration using 12 SF6 insulated circuit breakers.
  • The project will bring the station into compliance with regional electric system standards.
  • Black & Veatch Construction, Inc. (BVCI) is a wholly owned construction subsidiary of Black & Veatch. BVCI has performed union construction work for more than 15 years and is a signatory to all trades under the National Maintenance Agreement and General Presidents Power Maintenance Agreement.
  • Additional information on this project is available on UI’s Web site

About United Illuminating Company: The United Illuminating Company (UI) is a New Haven-based regional electric distribution company established in 1899. UI is engaged in the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and related services to more than 324,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas. UI’s World Wide Web address is UI's parent company, UIL Holdings Corporation, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UIL.

About Black & Veatch: Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018 were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on and in social media.

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