Equipment upgrades and maintenance at two of Avista’s electrical substations serving the Chewelah, Washington area, including the City of Chewelah, and the Northport area recently required power outages involving about 1,900 customers in the Chewelah area. Customers of The City of Chewelah also experienced an interruption of their service during the same time period, since the City receives its power from the Avista substation where the work will be taking place.

Avista customers in the town of Northport and the surrounding area will experience consecutive power outages on Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. both days. About 1,100 Avista customers will be impacted by maintenance the Bonneville Power Administration will be performing on transmission lines serving Avista’s substation.

“We know any interruption in electrical service is an inconvenience for our customers; however, equipment maintenance is important to ensuring customers have the safe, reliable service they expect,” said Kermit Olson, Avista’s manager of Colville operations. “We appreciate the patience of our customers, and encourage those with special considerations to make alternative arrangements during this time frame.”

“The refurbishment of Avista’s Chewelah substation is a great example of a problem that many utilities with ageing assets and infrastructure face. Rather than the ‘band-aid’ solution to a specific requirement, we stopped and took a more holistic approach -- we looked at the age and condition of the entire substation, considered when we would likely replace or upgrade the major/minor equipment and what other items that work would impact, “ said Olson.

The project has evolved from adding a fourth feeder to the Chewelah substation to improve service reliability into a $1.1 million refurbishment that includes replacing the substation transformer, adding SCADA, replacing all of the feeder breakers, and refurbishing the 13-kV bus.

The refurbishment of the Chewelah substation, located in a rural area of eastern Washington, represents a major investment in local infrastructure that serves over 2,000 Avista customers and 1,300 customers of the City of Chewelah