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Article   |   10.12.2021

West Kennebunk Substation Design

The Kennebunk Light & Power District (KLPD) is a small, consumer-owned, electric utility on the southern coast of Maine. The utility has had a single electric substation since the 1950s which has served the community faithfully to meet the demands of a quickly growing community and to provide redundancy to its system. KLPD elected to build a new substation on a site in West Kennebunk. This site is adjacent to existing Central Maine Power Company (CMP) 115kV transmission lines.

KLPD engaged SGC to assist with the design and construction of this vital infrastructure. SGC provided electrical and civil engineering as well as land surveying services. In addition, SGC provided procurement assistance, bidding services and construction administration.

The substation was designed to take 115kV power from the CMP lines and transform it into four 12.5kV distribution circuits. This is accomplished by using two identical sets of breakers, switches and transformers with a top rating of 18kVA. The units are can be operated individually or in tandem depending on the power needs of the community. SGC designed the “low side” bus work so that the four distribution circuits can be fed by the two transformers in various combinations, thus providing KLPD with flexibility.

An important design consideration was locating the station in close proximity to existing homes. The district wanted to be a good neighbor and have the station blend into the scenery. The station was pushed back into the lot to take advantage of the existing trees and make the station less visible. The control building was also designed to blend with the surroundings by utilizing natural materials and colors.

Given the station’s proximity to gravel pits which are popular recreational hotspots, the District wanted to make the station “vandal proof”. Gates and large boulders were placed at strategic points to limit access. In addition, the control building was constructed with cement blocks and vandal resistant security doors.

From the outset, SGC worked with KLPD staff to provide a substation that meets the specific needs and requirements of the District. All aspects of the design were tailored to KLPD’s needs while providing an effective solution that is practical and serviceable.

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